What is Congestive Heart Failure?
Congestive Heart Failure is the condition in which the heart fails to effectively pump the blood to supply the vital organs and other parts of the body. When blood is supplied into the heart but fails to be pumped out of it, it leads to the regurgitation of blood into the venous system. As the venous pressure and capillary pressure increases, blood stagnates and it’s components enter the pulmonary system and other organs resulting in symptoms such as shortness of breath, peripheral edema, ascites etc.
Treatment of congestive heart failure is difficult and it never undergoes complete remission. Therapy is mainly targeted towards reducing preload to the heart and increasing the contraction strength of the heart. These treatments merely prevent disease progression and worsening.
Congestive heart failure is a fairly common condition with more than a million new cases diagnosed each year. Most patients require multiple admissions within the same year. According to a study, almost 25% of people admitted for Congestive Heart Failure require repeat admission after less than 30 days of being discharged from the hospital and 45% require re-admission after just 90 days of being discharged from the hospital.
Monitoring the patient’s condition at home is difficult, as various factors have to be taken into consideration to observe any potential worsening of the disease condition. Factors such as heart rate, stroke volume, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation are all important vitals that need to be analyzed to assess a patient’s condition.
New tech to monitor the heart’s condition at home
Researchers from Rochester Institute of Technology have recently come up with a technique to efficiently monitor a patient’s condition at home without requiring repeated hospital visits. The researchers developed a toilet-seat that detects cardiovascular signs to monitor, record and report them to their physician. This allows physicians to assess any deterioration in the patient’s condition and administer interventions that can prevent hospital re-admissions.
Hospital re-admissions can result in penalties that can be very costly to the hospital. According to the developers of the innovative toilet-seat based cardiovascular monitoring system, investing in their technology can be cost-efficient in the long run for the hospitals. In addition to the cost issues, it can also improve a patient’s quality of life with reduced hospital stays.
The product has not been commercialized as of yet and the research team is working hard to ensure funding to further the research and also get FDA approval for their product.