This smart toilet seat has built-in sensors to detect heart failure

Imagine if your toilet seat could detect the signs of congestive heart failure — it's an unusual idea, yes, but one that researchers have turned into reality. Researchers with the Rochester Institute of Technology have developed a smart toilet seat able to measure biometrics while the patient is seated, including heart rate, how much blood the heart is pumping, and more.

The smart toilet seat was developed by Heart Health Intelligence CEO and RIT postdoctoral fellow Nicholas Conn and colleagues. The device is more than a mere concept and will soon go through the FDA's clearance process, eventually arriving for purchase by hospitals for patients to take home.

Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart muscle is incapable of pumping blood properly. A number of symptoms arise from congestive heart failure, including a rapid heartbeat. Patients may fail to notice worsening symptoms or only realize their presence when it is too late.

The toilet seat helps address that problem by monitoring a number of biometrics that hint at a deteriorating condition, including blood pressure and oxygenation, the amount of blood pumped by the heart per heartbeat, heart rate, and the patient's weight.

Data gathered by the smart toilet seat is analyzed by an algorithm that will detect signs of a deteriorating condition and issue an alert to the patient's cardiologist for evaluation. The doctor will then be able to determine whether the patient needs to be admitted to the hospital, helping save the health care industry money by preventing unnecessary readmissions.