Israeli company Neurokeeper have developed a wearable device which they say can detect strokes, the third biggest killer in the western world. Using technology similar to that found in the common electroencephalogram (EEG) the prototype, worn on patients’ heads, monitors brain waves and identifies any discrepancies in their pattern.
According to the creators the Neurokeeper headset provides medical personnel with real-time information, allowing them to diagnose and treat high-risk patients in time to prevent or minimise potential brain damage. They believe the device, currently just a prototype, will allow them to detect future strokes in patients who have recently experienced one and are thought vulnerable to another attack. A stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is the rapid loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain.
Shay Bar-Haim, Neurokeeper CEO, said the lightweight device could allow potential sufferers to recognise the signs of an approaching stroke while at home and seek medical help before it happens.
“Our device detects automatically a stroke event and alerts either in the home environment the patient himself or his family, or in the hospital environment the medical staff, of a potential ischemic attack and allows the patients to get to the hospital early and get treated early,” said Bar-Haim.
At 200 USD per device, Bar-Haim says their headset is cheaper than other existing products already on the market.
“There are several devices out there, some are even in use but none of them are both portable, can continuously monitor the patient, are cheap and can give a picture of the whole brain,” he said.
Watch a Reuters-report about the Neurokeeper headset
Scientific advisor to Neurokeeper is Professor Natan Bornstein, head of the stroke unit at the department of neurology at Sackler School of Medicine, as well as being Vice President of the World Stroke Organisation. “This is a very innovative device and technology and also approach to prevent stroke,” he said.
“In very high risk sub-group of patients it will be a breakthrough device that may help us, the physician, as well as the patient, of course, to identify all this unnecessary events,” he added.
Within a year and a half, the Neurokeeper team hope to conduct a large-scale clinical trial. If successful, Bar-Haim hopes to apply for US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance by the end of 2014.