ICS Impulse article in New York Daily News
Tiny camera in high-tech goggles helps speed diagnosis, save lives
They look like fancied-up swim goggles — but could save stroke victims’ lives.
Brooklyn Maimonides Medical Center is the first hospital in the city to obtain high-tech glasses which will make it easier for stroke teams in the emergency room to identify stroke victims who don’t have the usual symptoms.
“This is a big deal,” said Dr. Steven Rudolph, director of the Borough Park hospital’s Jaffe Stroke Center. “This will help us find stroke victims we would otherwise miss without an MRI.”
Stroke nurses and neurologists will be trained to start using the break-through testing device in Maimonides’ ER this summer to detect a type of stroke which starts with sudden dizziness.
The posterior circulation stroke occurs without the tell-tale signs of symptoms common to other kinds of strokes, such as sudden numbness or paralysis on one side of the body, difficulty in talking or understanding speech and vision loss.
Doctors use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to check for changes in patients’ brains that are caused by this type of stroke — but that’s not always helpful.
“Up to 20% of these strokes do not show up on an MRI during the first 24 hours,” said Rudolph.
False negative MRI results cause stroke victims’ treatments to be delayed — or their cases to go undiagnosed.
The goggles test, which takes just 10 minutes, will save a lot of money, Rudolph said. It will probably cost $75 compared with an average $1,400 for an MRI.
A tiny camera in the goggles’ carbon-fiber frame captures the patient’s eye movements while a doctor or nurse swivels the person’s head in different directions. A sensor in the goggles picks up head movements.
Software in a laptop interprets eye and head movements — and determines whether inner-ear ailments are causing the patient’s dizziness. If inner-ear problems are ruled out, a stroke is a possible cause.
A grant from the Foundation for Stroke Prevention paid for the $17,000 goggles, which the Food and Drug Administration cleared for sale in the United States in February.
As he gears up for their emergency use at Maimonides, Rudolph has deployed the goggles, which he got in mid-April, on outpatients to figure out what types of inner-ear problems are causing their dizziness and balance problems.
Rudolph is constantly on the hunt for new technology to advance stroke diagnosis and treatment at Jaffe Center, which treats more than 600 patients per year.
“We are always looking for what we can do to make our work better,” he said. “We also like cool stuff. This is a really cool gadget.”
Video conferencing is another bit of technology that has proved helpful in stroke diagnosis. Maimonides was the first hospital in New York State to use it to enable a neurologist at an off-site location to prescribe clot-dissolving medication for a stroke patient.
Rudolph uses the telestroke program when he’s home at night and the doctor on duty at the hospital wants to consult with him. He lives on the Upper East side, 40 minutes away from Maimonides — and minutes count in effective stroke treatment.
“These are difficult decisions with stroke patients,” he said. “My colleagues want my input.”
Source: New York Daily News