The toilet seat cardiovascular monitoring system is designed to lower hospital readmission rates of patients who have congestive heart failure. The researchers plan to enter the FDA clearance process through the researchers’ company, Heart Health Intelligence.
“Typically within 30 days of hospital discharge, 25% of patients with congestive heart failure are readmitted,” Nicholas Conn, a postdoctoral fellow and the founder and CEO of Heart Health Intelligence. “After 90 days of hospital discharge, 45% of patients are readmitted. And the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is penalizing hospitals for readmitting patients for heart failure.”
The toilet seat has an integrated electrocardiogram, ballistocardiogram and photoplethysmogram that can give clinical-grade measurements of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, stroke volume and peripheral blood oxygenation.
Congestive heart failure is a condition where the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The Centers for Disease Control reports that heart failure affects approximately 5.7 million adults in the U.S. and costs the nation an estimated $30.7 billion each year.
The researchers suggest that the total cost for giving 150 patients their own toilet seat monitors from the Heart Health Intelligence would cost $200,000.
By detecting deteriorating conditions, the toilet seat can alert users before they realize they are symptomatic. The seat also uses rapid data analysis which can lead to simpler interventions like a drug change or a short office visit, instead of being readmitted to the hospital.
The researchers and Heart Health Intelligence are currently working on writing grants for additional funding and networking. Human-subject testing and pre-clinical studies are currently underway as well.
This research was published in the JMIR mHealth and uHealth journal.