New device will help stroke victims' recovery


Engineers at Cardiff University, UK, are using their expertise to help create a device which could greatly increase the rate of recovery for stroke victims.

The device, known as Alladin, will diagnose the precise state of a victim from the time of the attack throughout their recovery, enabling medical staff to determine the correct treatment at each stage.

There are some 920,000 new stroke victims in the European Union every year. In addition to the human suffering involved, their treatment demands significant medical resources.

Recovery from a stroke is often lengthy and involves frequent hospital visits. Victims may lose the power of clear speech and can feel embarrassed and depressed by their condition.

The recovery may be prolonged because of difficulty in diagnosing the seriousness of damage and its precise location. Alladin will provide accurate information at the outset and throughout the recovery.

"We are developing 'data-mining' for use in Alladin," said Dr Anthony Soroka, who is leading the research team at the Manufacturing Engineering Centre. "This searches through patient data to determine what each piece of information means in terms of the patient's condition.

"By establishing these 'markers,' software can be developed to recognise conditions and prescribe appropriate treatments," he explained.

Instrumentation with sensors housing the software will convey information to health professionals in hospital and to the patient's doctor.

The Centre, based in the University's School of Engineering, is working with partners in five European Union countries to develop Alladin, which should be in production within three years.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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