News ID: 210275
Published: 0728 GMT February 20, 2018

This stick-on patch could keep tabs on stroke patients at home

This stick-on patch could keep tabs on stroke patients at home
These Band-Aid‒like throat sensors can monitor the recovery of stroke survivors long after they leave the hospital.
sciencenews.org

Up to 65 percent of stroke survivors have trouble swallowing, and about a third of survivors have trouble carrying on conversations.

The devices can monitor speech patterns more reliably than microphones by sensing tissue movement rather than recording sound، according to sciencenews.org.

Study coauthor John Rogers, a materials scientist and bioengineer at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill, said,

“You don’t pick up anything in terms of ambient noise.

"You can be next to an airplane jet engine. You’re not going to see that in the [sensor] signal.”

Developed by Rogers’ team, the sensors have built-in 12-hour rechargeable batteries and continually stream motion data to a smartphone.

Researchers are now testing the sensors with real stroke patients to see how the devices can be made more user-friendly.

For instance, Rogers’ team realized that patients were unlikely to wear sensors that were too easily visible.

By equipping the patches with more sensitive motion sensors, they can be worn lower on a person’s neck, hidden behind a buttoned-up shirt, and still pick up throat motion.

Rogers’s ssid, "These kinds of sensors could also track the recovery of neck cancer patients, who commonly develop swallowing and speaking problems caused by radiation therapy and surgery."

The devices can also measure breathing and heart rates to monitor sleep quality and help diagnose sleep apnea.

Rogers expects this wearable tech to be ready for widespread use within the next year or two.

 

   
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