New Device Can Quickly Spot A Stroke

New Device Has Been Proven To Quickly Accurately Diagnose A Stroke

New Device Has Been Proven To Quickly Accurately Diagnose A Stroke

A pair of goggles that measures eye movement has been used in a recent study to correctly diagnose a stroke in under one minute. The study will be published in April’s issue of the journal ‘Stroke’.

The lead author of the study stated that this is the first study to accurately diagnose if a patient has a stroke or not.

Misdiagnosis of stroke is a huge issue worldwide. Around 100,000 strokes are misdiagnosed every year in U.S., which results over 20,000 deaths or severe physical and speech impairments.

Speed is the key to treating stroke and could be the difference between life and death. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is currently the best procedure to assess stroke, but this can take up to 6 hours with costs over $1,000.

Sometimes patients are sent home without an MRI to assess if they have had a stroke. The patient could of had a mini stroke which is then followed by a life threatening stroke. Around 4% of dizziness cases in the emergency room are caused by stroke.

The study only involved 12 patients, so it is impossible for a small study to prove 100% accurate. The device has been in use for a year in Europe, but has not yet been approved in U.S. for diagnosing a stroke. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has only approved it for use in assessing balance.

The device which is known as a video-oculography machine, is a modification of a “head impulse test” which is used for patients with constant chronic dizziness and other inner ear-balance disorders.

This device would be a huge boost for otolaryngologists as they are unable see everybody due to the large amount of patients and emergency room physicians can’t be easily trained to develop expertise in eye movement interpretation. This would mean more patients getting diagnosed correctly and much faster.

The test involves the patient wearing a pair of goggles which has a webcam and is processed with special software. The patient is asked to focus on one particular spot on the wall while the doctor moves the patient’s head from side to side.

Normally our balance system in our ears keeps our eyes stable when our head is moving. For patients with vertigo, the test is nearly always abnormal. Stroke patients, even though they have the same dizziness symptoms, don’t have this impairment.

The test in the study was 100% accurate when compared with MRI, which assessed 6 patients with a stroke and 6 who didn’t.

The lead author of the study suggests the test could be also incorporated into a smartphone application.