Game Changers Help Stroke Patients

FDA has given Inc. approval for their clinical decision support software designed to analyze computed tomography results. The company will now be able to be market the software to use to alert providers when dealing with a potential stroke in patients. The technology is intended to be used by neurovascular specialists such as vascular neurologists, neuro-interventional specialists, or other professionals with similar training.

The application is a computer-aided triage software that uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to analyze images for indicators associated with a stroke. The FDA is currently creating a regulatory framework to encourage developers to create, adapt, and expand the functionalities of their software.

Another development to help stroke patients is the development of a new wearable sensor developed in the lab by Engineering Professor John A. Rogers at Northwestern University in partnership with the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, a research hospital in Chicago, The sensor is designed to be worn on the throat and would able to really help in the field of stroke rehabilitation.

The sensor is the latest in Rogers growing portfolio of stretchable electronics that are precise enough for use in advanced medical and care. It is also portable enough to be worn outside the hospital even when patients are exercising.

The sensors stick directly on the skin moving with the body and provide detailed health metrics including heart function, muscle activity, and quality of sleep. “Stretchable electronics allow us to see what is going on inside the patient’s body at a level traditional wearables simple cannot achieve,” said Rogers. “The key is to make them as integrated as possible with the human body.”

The new bandage-like throat sensor measures patients swallowing ability and patterns of speech. The sensors aid in the diagnosis and treatment of aphasia, a communication disorder associated with stroke.

The tools that speech language pathologists have traditionally used to monitor their patient’s speech function such as microphones aren’t able to distinguish between patients’ voices and ambient noise. The sensors are able to solve the problem by measuring vibrations of the vocal cords, but they only work when worn directly on the throat which is a very sensitive area of the skin.

The Shirley Ryan Ability Lab uses the throat sensor in conjunction with electronic biosensors on the legs, arms, and chest to monitor stroke patients’ recovery progress. The sensors are able to stream data wirelessly to clinicians’ phones and computers, to provide a quantitative full body picture of a patient’s advanced physical and physiological responses in real-time.

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