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Assessing Heart Function and Fluid Status with Cardiac Scales: Interview with John Lipman, CEO, and Corey Centen, Founder, Bodyport

Bodyport, a medtech company based in San Francisco, developed the Bodyport Cardiac Scale, a set of weighing scales that can non-invasively assess fluid status and heart function. The scales can detect these signals through the feet when a patient steps onto the device. The technology is intended to be convenient and requires only 20 seconds each morning, and should easily lend itself to integration into a daily routine.   

The device can transmit the data on cardiac hemodynamic parameters to clinicians through cellular networks, and uses AI-based algorithms to identify a variety of hemodynamic biomarkers to aid in early identification and diagnosis. The system also incorporates a digital dashboard that lets healthcare staff to easily view trends in a patient’s data over time.

Medgadget had the opportunity to speak with John Lipman, Bodyport CEO, and Corey Centen, Bodyport Founder, President, and CTO, about the technology and their plans for the future.  

Conn Hastings, Medgadget: Please explain the importance of regular cardiac monitoring in enabling early interventions and reducing disease exacerbation.

John Lipman, Bodyport: Regular cardiac monitoring enables early interventions that lead to a reduction in disease exacerbation through timely and enhanced care. Cardiac monitoring is especially helpful in those living with advanced heart disease, such as heart failure. There are over 6 million Americans living with heart failure and approximately 1 million heart failure hospitalizations a year, with 90% of heart failure hospitalizations due to worsening hemodynamic congestion.

These hospitalizations could be reduced or prevented through early detection of changes in heart function and fluid status along with optimized interventions.

We believe that longitudinal monitoring with the Cardiac Scale can have a significant impact on patient outcomes. Patients living with heart failure must manage their condition daily over the course of years, which, to be successful, requires a solution that is seamlessly integrated into their daily life. At Bodyport, we look forward to making a difference in patients’ lives with our commitment to robust clinical evidence generation that demonstrates the ability to detect heart failure events accurately and catch them earlier from the comfort of the patient’s home.*

Medgadget: Please give us an overview of current techniques to measure and monitor cardiac hemodynamics and fluid status.

John Lipman: There are a number of techniques currently used to remotely measure and monitor cardiac function and fluid status.

Weight monitoring and patient symptom assessments are the standard of care for detecting fluid accumulation in patients with worsening heart failure. However, weight gain is a late sign of worsening status, and typically does not provide enough advance warning to deliver a remote intervention that can prevent a hospitalization.

Invasive devices, such as pulmonary artery pressure sensors, allow for remote measures of clinical congestion and titration of heart failure therapy, but their widespread use is limited by the need for an invasive procedure, a relatively narrow indication for use in patients, and high cost of implantation.

Wearable devices such as remote dielectric sensing and adhesive patches allow for remote cardiac monitoring of lung fluid content, electrocardiograph, and physical activity, among others, but each has limitations and requires patients to make big changes that interrupt their daily lives.

Adhesive patches are limited by skin irritation, compliance, and are most useful for monitoring over short time periods (<30 days).

We believe there is a clear need for non-invasive, user-friendly, affordable, and scalable solutions, validated with rigorous clinical evidence of their effectiveness. The Bodyport Cardiac Scale provides a convenient and accessible potential solution that only requires patients to take a daily step on the scale, a behavior that is already very familiar to them and part of standard heart failure care.

Medgadget: What inspired Bodyport to develop the Cardiac Scale? Did you identify a limitation in pre-existing cardiac monitoring technologies?

Corey Centen: Bodyport was founded by me and Sarah Smith, seasoned inventor-entrepreneurs and biomedical engineers experienced in the cardiovascular space.

The company’s mission is to empower every person to live free from complex chronic conditions – by delivering actionable insights from unique health signals captured through simple, at-home experiences. This mission began with the development of the Bodyport Cardiac Scale to help keep people with heart failure healthier and out of the hospital.

Unlike other cardiac monitoring technologies, measurements only take 20 seconds and don’t require a wearable device or surgical implant, allowing the technology to seamlessly integrate into a patient’s daily life.

Medgadget: Please give us an overview of the Bodyport Cardiac Scale and how it works.

Corey Centen: The Bodyport Cardiac Scale is designed to use advanced sensor technology and AI-powered algorithms to detect a broad spectrum of hemodynamic biomarkers, well beyond that which is available in current consumer health technology.

With one simple step, the Bodyport Cardiac Scale detects signals through a person’s feet and sends actionable data to the clinical care team.

Advanced sensors and proprietary algorithms noninvasively measure a broad spectrum of hemodynamic biomarkers to assess heart function and fluid status as clinical care teams receive alerts and insights on patient status to triage support and take timely action.

Our first algorithm is the Bodyport Fluid Index, which is designed to more accurately reflect the volume status of the patient, more effectively identifying fluid accumulation and worsening status earlier, and more accurately than traditional weight-based methods.

In the case where a patient gains or loses weight, our fluid index can provide context as to whether the weight was largely due to fluid or another cause, such as patients wearing clothing or changes in body composition.

Medgadget: How does the Scale communicate with healthcare staff? Please give us an overview of the Clinical Dashboard and its features.

John Lipman: The Cardiac Scale utilizes cellular network connectivity, instead of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, for transmission of measurement data. This feature simplifies the setup process and improves access to care for people who do not have internet or smartphone access, a growing public health concern accompanying the growth of telemedicine. 

With the Bodyport Clinical Dashboard, clinical care teams will be able to easily monitor patient data and longitudinal changes in health status within their existing workflow. The Fluid Index allows patients to be easily triaged, enabling the delivery of timely, effective interventions.

Medgadget: How does the Cardiac Scale fit with a patient’s daily life?

John Lipman: Patients need only spend approximately 20 seconds on a very familiar morning activity – stepping onto a scale. The Bodyport solution is designed to capture hemodynamic signals through the Cardiac Scale to power optimized interventions tailored to the patient. By not requiring a wearable device or surgical implant, the solution is designed to seamlessly integrate into a patient’s daily life.

We developed the Bodyport Patient Experience — a user-friendly portal combined with convenient tools, resources, biomarker-guided coaching, and more — to empower patients to track their health, stay on treatment, and take action. Patients will be able to get automated reminders, check symptoms, and log medication and diet; see personalized health trends and insights; access educational resources and disease-specific learning modules; receive one-on-one coaching and invite friends and family for support.

Medgadget: Do you have any plans for additional medical technologies? How do you see the company progressing over the next five years?

John Lipman: We plan on developing new biomarkers and algorithms that help better predict worsening status in patients living with complex chronic conditions. New biomarkers and algorithms will enable us to detect adverse events earlier and more precisely, further enhancing our ability to keep patients out of the hospital and in their homes. These new algorithms will also allow us to extend our technology to other cardiorenal conditions, such as chronic kidney disease.

Link: Bodyport homepage…

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