People being monitored for heart conditions currently have to go into a hospital or clinic on a regular basis, to have an electrocardiogram performed on them. That may be about to change, however, as researchers from Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya have developed a bathroom scale that performs the procedure right in the user’s home.

The device contains electrodes in its platform that make contact with the user’s feet, along with electrodes in its two wired handles that make contact with their hands. It can be used in a standing or seated position.

The electrodes provide a total of four contact points – traditionally, a proper electrocardiogram would require 12, although this would involve placing electrodes on the patient’s chest. Nonetheless, the data provided by the scale is apparently sufficient for physicians to keep track of the electrical activity of the patient’s heart.

Data is sent from the scale to a cable-linked computer. From there, it can be sent on to a health care provider.

The research team is presently looking for an industrial partner to commercialize the technology.

View gallery - 2 images