By: John Keane, CEO and co-founder, MindRhythm
This is the first blog post in a two-part series.
Stroke detection – or lack thereof – is a well-known problem, and the medical and paramedic communities have both been searching for a solution. To better understand the significance of the stroke detection problem, consider this: hospitals equip ambulances with CT scanners to detect strokes – costing upward of several million dollars – and drive them to individuals experiencing a stroke to determine the stroke type and where the patient should receive care.
One of the deadliest kinds of stroke – a large vessel occlusion (LVO) – occurs when one of the major arteries in the brain is blocked. LVO strokes are often fatal, or leave patients with severe, permanent deficiencies. In 2015, however, following clinical trials, the thrombectomy became a standard of care – making LVOs potentially curable, rather than resulting only in catastrophic consequences. The thrombectomy is an interventional procedure that removes a blood clot from a blood vessel, and it is what can help to save an LVO stroke patient’s life.
However, only about 200 hospitals in the U.S. possess the necessary equipment to perform a thrombectomy and remove an LVO stroke patient’s blood clot. Statistically, patients are more likely to be near a Primary Stroke Center (PSC), which cannot perform a thrombectomy, than near a Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC), which can perform the live-altering – or life-saving – procedure.
Paramedics are therefore placed in a difficult situation, and must guess as to which hospital the LVO stroke patient should be sent. If the patient is sent to a PSC, he or she will then need to be transferred to a CSC for treatment – but with every minute that passes, the patient’s brain experiences irreparable damage.
How MindRhythm Solves the Problem
That’s where MindRhythm’s Harmony device comes in. When placed on a person’s head, this simple device can rapidly identify the type of stroke – whether LVO or otherwise – solving the stroke triage problem by providing paramedics with confidence that the patient is sent to the appropriate type of stroke center.
Whereas other companies are trying to tweak existing technologies to detect a stroke, MindRhythm’s Harmony device leverages accelerometer technology to identify the pattern within the brain that indicates a stroke. Our company’s co-founder and CTO Paul Lovoi discovered that the brain’s “pulse” renders differently on an ECG when there’s a disturbance to the brain – and that’s exactly what Harmony can detect.
MindRhythm technology can significantly advance, and improve, neurological patient care by helping to diminish a critical market problem: stroke detection. MindRhythm’s Harmony device, which is small, disposable and inexpensive, helps to solve one of medicine’s biggest challenges – as it has the power to save lives by triaging stroke patients quickly, and correctly.
Stay tuned to learn how MindRhythm goes beyond stroke detection to solve another critical market problem: stroke monitoring.