A visor that clinicians or paramedics can place on patients suspected of having a stroke has demonstrated 92% accuracy in helping to diagnose severe cases of the condition. The device can provide a diagnosis within seconds, and works by sending low-energy radio waves through the brain.
Rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke is vital for the best possible patient outcomes. This Cerebrotech Visor, developed by Cerebrotech Medical Systems of Pleasanton, California, aims to provide a rapid and accurate method for paramedics to diagnose severe stroke in the field, and simplify their decision as to where to take patients first.
The Cerebrotech Visor operates by sending low-energy radio waves through the brain and detecting their nature after they pass through the left and right lobes. As they pass through fluid in the brain, the frequency of the waves changes. A severe stroke can cause changes in this fluid, resulting in asymmetry in the waves detected by the visor. The technique is called volumetric impedance phase shift spectroscopy (VIPS).
In the recent study funded by Cerebrotech, researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and elsewhere, tested the accuracy of the visor in diagnosing severe stroke. They deployed the visor with emergency medical personnel, who used it to assess if a patient was having a severe stroke. Each procedure took approximately 30 seconds per patient. The device requires very little training, and its simplicity reduces the risk of human error in assessments.
The researchers compared the diagnostic results from the device with those from a standard physical examination routinely performed by emergency personnel, and a neurologist later provided a definitive diagnosis using neuroimaging techniques. Compared with the neurologist’s diagnosis, the device showed 92% accuracy, which is an improvement on the standard physical examinations, which were correct only 40–89% of the time.
The researchers plan to employ machine learning algorithms to “teach” the device to independently distinguish between minor and severe stroke, without the input of a neurologist. The researchers believe that the device could one day become as common as defibrillators. “This could potentially be something like a defibrillator,” said Raymond D. Turner, a researcher involved in the study. “You can find out if a patient is having a stroke, just like you can put a defibrillator on a patient to see if they’re having a heart attack.”
Link: Cerebrotech homepage…
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