Andrew Boot runs support for our clinical research study partners.
A Brief Introduction to The Heart Seat
Casana’s first device, The Heart Seat, facilitates bringing healthcare into the home, in a place where you would least expect - a toilet seat! The Heart Seat is installed on a toilet just like any other standard toilet seat. The beauty of The Heart Seat lies in its simplistic design for the user: no charging, no plugging, no stress about remembering to use it. Users are instructed to sit as they normally would use a toilet seat and The Heart Seat will do the rest.
The Heart Seat is initialized to each user as part of an initial onboarding session. Onboarding consists of gathering several demographic data points (e.g. height) as well as several gold-standard measurements (e.g. blood pressure) which help The Heart Seat identify the intended user upon each sit, as well as calculate more accurate clinical values.
Underneath the Lid: The Sensors
The Heart Seat has three medical sensors embedded in the seat:
EKG (Electrocardiogram): The two silver electrodes on the Seat that measure the electrical signal of your heart are the EKG. The EKG provides an EKG waveform as well as information about a user’s heart rate.
PPG (Photoplethysmogram): The small black rectangle on the seat has red and infrared LEDs housed inside which make up the PPG. The PPG sensors determine the percent oxygen saturation within a user’s blood. The sensor does this by emitting light that is reflected back through the thigh and measuring blood volume changes based on the amount of light detected at the two wavelengths.
BCG (Ballistocardiogram): My favorite sensor on the seat is known as the ballistocardiogram. The BCG measures subtle shifts in apparent bodyweight each time force is exerted upward or downward based on the beating of the heart. This technology was first developed and studied on beds of mercury in the late 19th century. Over time, new, simpler technologies have been developed to gather similar data (e.g. Echo). Our BCG is composed of four extremely sensitive weight sensors. These measure subtle weight shifts as the heart beats and pumps blood and allow us to determine the mechanical properties of the heart.
With Our Sensors Combined
The combination of the EKG, PPG, and BCG sensors allows for powerful insight into the mechanical and electrical properties of the user's heart. It is the sensor synergy (beyond a single sensor or a combination of EKG + PPG only) that allows us to uniquely calculate the user’s blood pressure from signals from a user’s thigh.
Transmission of Data
The Heart Seat is powered by batteries that allow the Seat to operate for years. Once connected to wifi, The Heart Seat transfers the user’s data to the secure Casana cloud network for analysis by the Casana algorithms to produce clinically relevant data. This data is shared with the prescribing clinician as well as whomever the user chooses, including family members or caregivers.
Why is this Important to our Health?
The Heart Seat shifts a user’s—and their care team’s—focus away from single data points that are typically captured at the doctor's office and influenced by stress (thus inducing spiked measures such as white coat syndrome). Instead, The Heart Seat brings attention to the trend data of one’s clinical parameters over time. It is the trend data that brings insights and can provide the most helpful clues to one’s health.
At Casana, our mission is to make managing health at home as simple and easy as possible, enabling people to focus on all of the other important things in life. The Heart Seat™ is Casana's first product and is currently pursuing FDA clearance.