Wearable Sensor to Help Patients Tackle Stroke

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Scientists developed a pair of sensors for the throat, specially designed to help patients recover from stokes, on February 19, 2018.

A person’s abilities to speak and swallow are frequently signs of how well they are copying after a stroke, however, it has always been a challenge to measure the same. Microphones frequently cannot distinguish between the patient and ambient sounds.

A team of researchers from the Northwestern University designed a wearable throat sensor that help diagnose and treat aphasia, a communication disorder typically associated with strokes. The wireless device tracks the vibration of your vocal cords to gauge your recovery and determine whether or not doctors need to intervene.

The sensor is more accurate than a mic and considerably more comfortable and durable to use. A set of novel materials help it bend and stretch so that it’s not irritating your throat or breaking under stress. Doctors can see how a person speaks and swallows in real life, and do not require a controlled condition of a hospital room to do the same.

When combined with other sensors that track factors like heart functions, muscles and sleep, the throat tech promises a relatively unintrusive look at how your whole body is faring. It will not guarantee a full recovery, but it could speed your progress and help you resume at least some of a person’s daily routine.

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