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High-tech helmet could detect stroke

High-tech helmet could detect stroke
17th June 2014

A helmet has been created that can ascertain whether or not an individual has experienced a stroke, according to scientists.

Strokefinder works by examining the tissues in the brain to see if a blot clot is present, using microwaves. This could help to quicken the process of diagnosing or treating a stroke, thereby aiding the chances of recovery. 

Swedish researchers tested the wearable device on 45 patients and it successfully identified whether patients were experiencing bleeding or clot-induced strokes. 

The scientists from Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska Academy and Sahlgrenska University Hospital are now going to test out the high-tech cap in a number of ambulances this autumn.

Strokefinder is thought to be able to diagnose individuals quicker than the current technology that is used by doctors. 

Professor of biomedical engineering at Chalmers University of Technology Mikael Persson said: "The possibility to rule out bleeding already in the ambulance is a major achievement that will be of great benefit in acute stroke care."

He added that the opportunities for the helmet's usage in trauma care were "equally exciting".

Professor of clinical neurophysiology at Sahlgrenska University Mikael Elam said the aim of Strokefinder was to start treating patients while they're en route to the hospital, especially because time is such a critical factor. 

Utilising this wearable device could mean patients experience an injury with fewer complications, which could reduce how long they stay at the hospital and their need for rehabilitation. 

Dr Shamim Quadir from the UK's Stroke Association was quoted by BBC News as saying that, while this research was at an early stage, the concept of using microwave-based systems showed promise in quickly identifying the type of stroke a patient has had, as "time lost is brain lost".

If it takes more than four hours for a patient who has had a stroke to get to hospital and start receiving treatment, it is possible that part of their brain tissue may start to die. 

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