A stroke can have life-changing effects on its survivors and their loved ones. In some instances, individuals may need full-time care. In this article, we’ll be looking at the technologies which are being used to help with stroke diagnoses.
After a stroke, survivors often experience emotional and behavioural changes. In more serious cases, it can affect anything from speech to swallowing and memory. It’s thought that up to 10% of strokes are missed or misdiagnosed in the UK, often resulting in stroke misdiagnosis claims.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the technologies which are being used to help stroke diagnoses…
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off or by a blood clot or bleeding in the brain. If a stroke is not diagnosed and treated quickly, it can lead to serious illness, paralysis and death. Symptoms of a stroke include:
- Slurred speech
- Inability to life the arms
- One side of the face drooping
If a person displays one or more of these symptoms, they should call an ambulance immediately to receive urgent medical care.
As we’ve mentioned, a fast diagnosis is essential to increasing chances of survival when suffering a stroke. Therefore, a lot of work is underway to develop new technology to speed up diagnosis and minimise the chances of misdiagnosis. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of these:
While ultrasound technology is commonly used to diagnose a number of conditions, it is not powerful enough to penetrate the skull in order to diagnose brain injuries. Scientists are developing Full Waveform Inversion which is an advanced computational technique used to improve the clarity of ultrasound images. It’s hoped that this technology will be rolled out to medical professionals to allow for the fastest possible diagnosis for stroke victims.
Brainomix uses artificial intelligence to create a tool which will be able to accurately predict the trajectory of a patient’s recovery and what impairments they may have. This will significantly help medical professionals to tailor treatment to the individual patient and make diagnosis more accurate.
As well as diagnostics, technology is being developed which aims to help stroke patients recover faster and more fully. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the tech that is changing the game for stroke patients:
Following a stroke, many people have difficulty in lifting their arms to perform simple tasks such as making a cup of tea, washing themselves or even scratching an itch. MARS (Monitoring Arm Recovery After Stroke) technology is in development with the aim of accurately monitoring arm movement during rehabilitation exercises. This technology will enable doctors and physiotherapists to better understand arm function recovery and to therefore create more effective treatments. This important technology will not only aid recovery but will help stroke patients to regain their independence quicker.
Stroke victims are often susceptible to falls due to impaired coordination and an inability to properly lift their feet. Trips and falls can be extremely dangerous for stroke patients as they are often unable to use their arms to break their fall and could therefore increase their risk of serious injury. The team at Odstock Medical Ltd are developing a muscle stimulator device which will aid stroke victims with walking and reduce the risk of trips and falls.
Physiotherapy helps survivors reclaim movement after a stroke. NeuroVirt Ltd works with physiotherapists and hospitals to develop a series of virtual reality games for stroke patients. The games help make upper-limb rehabilitation for patients more fun while quantifying impairment and improvement for doctors.
A stroke can severely impact a person’s life and while we associate strokes with older people, this is not always the case. Younger people can also suffer from strokes and ‘mini strokes’ and around 400 children are admitted to hospital stroke units every year.
If you suspect that you or somebody else has suffered a stroke, check for the FACT symptoms:
- Face: Has the face drooped or fallen on one side? Are you/they able to smile?
- Arms: Can you/they raise both arms and keep them in the air?
- Speech: Is the speech slurred or confused?
- Time: Time to phone 999 if any of these symptoms are present
By acting fast, you can significantly help to save the person’s life and achieve a better chance of recovery.
While most of the technologies listed in this article are still in development, some are now at the testing and approval stage. This means there is hope that hospitals and medical professionals will soon have access to tools and devices that will make diagnosis quicker and more accurate. As well as, helping patients to get on the road to recovery much faster.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.
Rupali Gupta is a blogger and professional writer who loves to write about technology and entertainment. Techzimo is one of her successful websites filled with great tech news, Know more about her on Youtube Facebook Twitter Linkedin Instagram