A toilet seat–based cardiovascular monitoring system (left) is integrated into an individual’s daily routine without requiring any change in habit, thereby addressing patient adherence. The system captures a comprehensive set of clinically relevant measurements automatically (right). [credit: Conn et al. ]
If developing heart disease scares the poo out of you, this new monitor may be just the thing.
Engineers at Rochester Institute of Technology have designed a high-tech toilet seat that effortlessly flushes out data on the state of your cardiovascular system. The tricked-out porcelain throne measures your blood pressure, blood oxygen level, and the volume of blood your heart pumps per beat (stroke volume)—taking readings every time you sit down to catch up on some reading of your own. The engineers, led by David Borkholder, recently published a prototype of the seat in the open-access journal JMIR mHealth and uHealth.
According to the inventors, the seat’s daily data dump could make patients and their doctors privy to early warning signs of heart failure, potentially helping to prevent further deterioration and avoid costly hospital stays. Moreover, the seat could ease in-home monitoring for heart patients, who often strain to consistently track their tickers with other, non-toilet-based monitors.