Getting daily checks of one’s cardiovascular function requires cooperation and commitment on the part of the patient. Monitors have to be put on, the readings recorded, and then shared with physicians or caregivers. While electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors, blood pressure cuffs, and other technologies are readily available for at-home use, they are too often not used to their full potential due to matters or usability, ergonomics, and compliance by patients.
A team from Rochester Institute of Technology has developed a toilet seat that can measure a host of important cardiovascular parameters while the patient is using it. Certainly no one fails to respond to nature’s calls, and so it is virtually guaranteed that patients having one of these at home will be sure to be monitored quite regularly (if everything is regular).
The new toilet seat measures diastolic and systolic blood pressures, stroke volume, blood oxygenation, heart rate, heart rate variability, QRS duration, and corrected QT interval. The patient is also weighed, though that would require lifting the feet off the ground.
The researchers already tested their toilet seat and compared the results to hospital-grade monitors, showing that their device’s ability to measure blood pressure, stroke volume, and peripheral oxygenation is not far off from the “gold standards”.