This week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast we look at new technology coming from researchers at Cornell University’s Baker Institute for Animal Health that developed a way to detect strokes in patients using just a single drop of blood in less than ten minutes. Current stroke diagnostics take as long as three hours, with skilled technicians working in a lab and doctors reviewing tests to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis.
This amazing new technology eventually could be expanded and used in point-of-care testing devices in ambulances and emergency departments to diagnose other conditions, including traumatic brain injury or concussion, dementia, and even some types of cancer and heart disease. Most stroke patients suffer from a type of stroke called an ischemic stroke. This means that a blood clot causes a blockage in a blood vessel in the brain, starving a portion of the brain of blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients.
Time is essential in getting these patients to treatment to have a full recovery but that has to happen within just a few hours of onset of the stroke. Taking the current diagnostic time of hours out of the picture, patients could have a near full recovery every time. Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and costs billions each year in medical costs and lost productivity.
The new stroke detection system from the Cornell researchers puts the diagnosis in the hands of the paramedics, or ER doctors and nurses using a device similar to that used now to check blood sugar in diabetes patients. This system could be tailored to detect multiple biomarkers. You could assemble a microfluidic card based on this technology that could detect 10 biomarkers in different wells, and the readout would be the same for each one.
Using the same detection system for multiple different biomarkers would make for a simple system in a relatively small package, or so say the team at Cornell. Stay tuned here at Health Tech Weekly. I’ll be following developments in this technology closely.
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