This Smart Toilet Seat Helps Heart Failure Patients Stay Out Of The Hospital

A toilet seat with a built-in cardiovascular monitoring system will give patients with congestive heart failure the option to have their condition monitored from the comfort of their own homes. With the help of a team of researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology, health professionals can lower the number of patients readmitted to the hospital right after their discharge.

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Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart no longer pumps blood normally. It often develops after other conditions have damaged the heart, but it can also manifest if the heart just becomes stiffer. Those with high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity are more at risk of having their heart fail, especially if there was excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption throughout their life. With over a million of these cases diagnosed each year, medical professionals need help monitoring this life-threatening condition.

Thankfully, researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology have developed the ingenious idea of building a monitoring system in a toilet seat. Every day, one has to sit on the toilet multiple times, so it’s the perfect thing to turn into a mini check-up lab. The seats were created to measure the electrical and mechanical activity of the heart; monitor heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels; and take note of the patient’s weight and stroke volume (amount of blood pumped out of the heart per beat). The machine compares the data collected, and it will alert doctors if the patient’s condition is deteriorating.

The toilet seat is revolutionary because doctors can closely monitor newly-discharged patients remotely: patients get to go home, and the hospital doesn’t have to accommodate more people in their rooms. Usually, 25% of patients with congestive heart failure will be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of their discharge; the percentage increases to 45% 90 days after their discharge date. With the toilet seat, patients and hospitals are also able to cut costs because the toilet seat is cheaper than keeping a patient in a hospital for monitoring.

The creativity of the human mind continues to amaze us with the ability to come up with creative and innovative solutions to pressing problems. With the help of this toilet seats, the stress doctors and patients will be alleviated a bit, and any solution that does so in this stressful situation is welcome.

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