Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Around 140,000 people in the US die from this disease each year. Furthermore, stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability as patients’ motor skills are significantly affected.
One of the most common consequences of this disease is the loss of strength and functionality in either the left or the right side of the body. Stroke survivors have a long road to recovery but it seems like a new invention may make this journey faster and more efficient.
The idea for a wearable sleeve to help stroke patients comes from England, or more precisely the University of Southampton. Professor Jane Burridge, who leads the Neurorehabilitation Research Group, and a team of scientists are looking to create a smart sleeve which will collect information on muscle movement and strength in stroke patients.
The wearable sleeve uses innovative technology that incorporates mechanomyography (ultra-sensitive microphones that measure muscle contraction), together with tri-axial accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers. The wireless sleeve connects to tablets, computers and other devices to allow patients to track their progress. Moreover, therapists will also benefit from this information as it will help them tailor therapy to an individual patient’s condition and progress.
The program represents a collaborative effort between the University of Southampton and the Imperial College London. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has granted funds of around £1 million to aid the research
Lead researcher Jane Burridge said that the team of scientists hope the device will help stroke patients regain the use of their arms and hands, reduce the time they spend with therapists while still allowing them to get the 45 minutes of recommended daily therapy.
Spotting symptoms of stroke early on is crucial. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- A headache (usually accompanied by vomiting and dizziness)
- Trouble walking
- Trouble speaking and understanding
- Sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in face, leg, or arm. This numbness or paralysis is usually present only on one side of your body
- Trouble seeing in one or both of your eyes i.e. blackened or blurred vision.
If you suspect your family member, friend, coworker, etc. has stroke-like symptoms, you should call a doctor immediately. It is important to think FAST and:
- Face – Ask person to smile and see whether one side of their face droops
- Arms – Ask person to raise both arms and observe whether one arm is unable to raise up or whether it drifts downward
- Speech – ask a person to repeat some simple phrase and check whether their speech is slurred or “weird.”
- Time – if you notice all these things, call a doctor.
Millions of people around the world suffer from stroke each year. While some people can achieve full recovery, others recover with small impairments. This new project has the potential to improve stroke recovery and make life easier for patients, their families, and therapists.
About the Author
Kathleen Brown is a content writer. She loves to publish her own articles in various technical related websites. In her spare time, she likes researching and writing articles to bring awareness to the latest trends in technology and gadgets. She is currently working as Communication Practitioner and Technocrat Expert Writer. Advocating all types of technical professionals. Connect with her on Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.