The Centers for Disease Control estimates that in the United States, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds. Stroke can affect a person in many different ways, from causing paralysis and muscle weakness to affecting the ability to swallow and speak. For these individuals, recovery is an ongoing and complex process.
In order to develop more precise measures to aid in stroke recovery, Dr. Arun Jayaraman is collaborating on an interdisciplinary project using wearable sensors. The sensors, which are flexible and adhere to the skin almost like a bandage, measure important data points like a patient's swallowing ability, patterns of speech, step counts, sleep quality, and heart rate. In the long-term, this data could help improve therapies for more targeted rehabilitation by providing a picture of a patient's progress or where therapy is potentially lacking and can be improved.
“One of the biggest problems we face with stroke patients is that their gains tend to drop off when they leave the hospital," Jayaraman said. “With the home monitoring enabled by these sensors, we can intervene at the right time, which could lead to better, faster recoveries for patients.”
Stretchable Electronics a 'Game Changer' for Stroke Recovery Treatment (Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Press Release)
These Flexible Sensors Could Help Monitor a Stroke Patient in Recovery (Smithsonian Magazine)
New Type of Wearable Electronics Could Boost Patients' Recovery (Chicago Tonight)