The urgency of assessing stroke severity has always been a critical concern in healthcare. Time is a precious commodity, and when it comes to strokes, it can make all the difference. A groundbreaking solution has emerged from the labs of Amsterdam UMC (University Medical Centers), where Dutch scientists have crafted a portable EEG-cap that can evaluate strokes while patients are still in transit to the hospital.
This innovative brain-wave-reading cap is designed to revolutionize how we address ischemic strokes, the most common form of stroke. By capturing brain wave data, this device can swiftly identify whether a blocked cerebral blood vessel is of a larger or smaller nature, a crucial distinction that determines the patient’s subsequent care path.
The significance of this cap lies in its ability to expedite treatment decisions. In cases where the blocked vessel is substantial, it is imperative to transport the patient to a specialized hospital where the clot can be surgically removed. Conversely, when the blockage is minor, the patient can be directed to a regular hospital and initiated on blood-thinning medication.
This transformative technology underwent rigorous testing in Dutch ambulances over four years, from 2018 to 2022, encompassing more than 400 patients. The results were remarkable, as the cap demonstrated a unique ability to “recognize patients with a large ischemic stroke with great accuracy.” It is now on the path to commercialization through TrianecT, a spinoff company.
Neurologist Jonathan Coutinho, one of the creators of this cutting-edge device, highlighted the critical importance of time in stroke cases, stating, “When it comes to stroke, time is brain. The sooner we start the right treatment, the better the outcome. If the diagnosis is already clear in the ambulance, the patient can be routed directly to the right hospital, which saves valuable time.”
In essence, this brain-wave-reading cap streamlines the diagnostic process and empowers medical professionals to make rapid and well-informed decisions that can substantially improve patient outcomes.
As the cap makes its way into medical practice, it has the potential to redefine the landscape of stroke care, offering a ray of hope for those in need of swift and precise treatment.
The study was published in the journal Neurology.
Source: Amsterdam UMC