di , 02/07/2024

RMIT University has announced a groundbreaking development in medical technology. A team of biomedical engineers has created a new smartphone face-screening tool that helps paramedics identify strokes in seconds. This tool represents a significant improvement over current technologies, potentially leading to faster and more accurate diagnoses.

Strokes, which affect millions of people globally, occur when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from receiving oxygen and nutrients. Even a few minutes of delay can result in permanent damage to brain cells.

PhD scholar Guilherme Camargo de Oliveira from RMIT and São Paulo State University, supervised by team leader Professor Dinesh Kumar, led the research. “Early detection of stroke is critical, as prompt treatment can significantly enhance recovery outcomes, reduce the risk of long-term disability, and save lives,” said Kumar.

With an accuracy rating of 82% for detecting strokes, the smartphone tool is not intended to replace comprehensive clinical diagnostic tests but can help identify individuals needing treatment much sooner. “Our face-screening tool has a success rate for detecting stroke that compares favorably to paramedics,” Kumar added.

Symptoms of stroke include confusion, partial or complete loss of movement control, speech impairments, and diminished facial expressions. “Studies indicate that nearly 13% of strokes are missed in emergency departments and at community hospitals, while 65% of patients without a documented neurological examination experience an undiagnosed stroke,” Kumar said.

This new tool is expected to have a significant impact on the medical field, particularly in improving the accessibility of treatment for stroke patients.