Created: May 25, 2021 06:50 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — What if you were told that there is a specially designed toilet seat that can potentially save a life?
Right here in Rochester, there's a team of scientists and engineers from creating a one-of-a-kind toilet seat that will monitor and improve the health of people on a daily basis.
Casana, formerly known as Heart Health Intelligence, is a health tech company leading the charge with the help of RIT alumnus Austin McChord, who joined the Casana leadership team as Chief Executive Officer.
Developed in 2014 by RIT student Nick Conn, the specially designed toilet seat will soon be entering the clinical trial phase as part of the FDA clearance, according to Casana.
“One of the biggest challenges that you have with remote patient monitoring is compliance so we've taken a suite of cardiovascular sensors and we've integrated those into a toilet seat,” said David Borkholder, Co-Founder and Head of Research and Development at Casana.
The company says that the concept of the toilet seat was developed because it is something that is used every day, multiple times a day and on a consistent basis, so it is easy to gather critical data and monitor someone’s trends for their vitals.
“Hypertension is a gateway into a number of much more serious cardiovascular diseases, so you might monitor for that, you might monitor for somebody with heart failure, and then there's a broad range of other applications that you can think about in the future, even elder care,” Borkholder said.
As of Head of R&D at Casana, Borkholder and his team run studies out the Smart Integrated Technologies (SIT) Lab, where they gather controlled information, take gold standard measurements and test the designed toilet seat.
“We have participants coming in every week to participate in our studies where we're collecting physical measurements, collecting gold standard measures as compared to our hard seat, and then also we have people experience using the hard seat and experience sitting on the toilet themselves,” said Alina Fowler, Clinical Studies Coordinator at Casana.
Borkholder says the pandemic accelerated the need for effective in-home monitoring as the country went on lockdown, therefore highlighting the inability to visit the doctor or that many were afraid to go visit the doctor out of fear of exposure.
The specially designed toilet will be launched next year and will be prescription-based with individuals' doctors. It is battery operated, so all you'll need is wifi so that it can collect the health data and send it into your doctor.
For anyone interested in the clinical studies that will be conducted at the SIT Lab, they can find all the details on the SIT Lab page on the Casana website. Eligible participants will be compensated for their time when they participate in clinical studies at the SIT Lab.
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