David Borkholder, PhD, Adam Smith, MFA, Linwei Wang, PhD, and Caroline Easton, PhD, Rochester Institute of Technology
Competition Sponsor: National Academy of Medicine
Vital signs are objective measures of physiological function that are used to monitor acute and chronic diseases, providing critical data on an individual’s health status. Monitoring daily vital signs in the home with a smart toilet seat would transform how we manage a broad range of disease states for the aging population. This is especially critical for cardiovascular disease (CVD), which impacts over 80% of those over the age of 65, and 90% of those over the age of 80 in the US. CVD is the leading cause of death in the US, and has become our nation’s costliest chronic disease, costing the nation $555 billion in 2016. By 2035 this number is expected to rise to over $1.1 trillion. Hypertension, a subset of CVD, impacts 78% of those over 65 and is known to be the most important risk factor for premature cardiovascular disease and death in older adults. Effective, in home vital signs monitoring could dramatically reduce these trends. However patient adherence to in-home self-monitoring of vital signs is poor. This challenge is exacerbated in the context of subjective cognitive decline which impacts 1 in 9 people aged 45 and older. Importantly, 40% of these individuals also suffer from at least one chronic condition. Toilet seat vital signs collection each day, automatically without patient engagement, would transform our ability to detect subtle changes in health for the aging population. Early detection enables intervention to reduce healthcare burden and improve outcomes and quality of life for the individual.
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