Thursday, June 19, 2014

'Microwave helmet' - great name, great idea

I have to get something out of the way - "microwave helmet" is a great name. I want one.

Now, in a more serious vein, one of the challenges of treating a stroke is diagnosing it, and determining what kind. It generally takes a CT scan in a hospital.

Now, though, the news is that a microwave helmet could diagnose strokes as patients ride to hospital:
The device, which researchers dubbed "Strokefinder," was inspired by computerized simulations devised to investigate the effect of cellphone radiation on the brain. "We realized that when you change the brain it changes the wave patterns from mobile phones going through the brain, and we looked into the possibility that these wave patterns could detect brain trauma," biomedical engineer and Strokefinder designer Mikael Persson tells Shots.
The Strokefinder prototype consists of an array of 12 antennas arranged around the head like a helmet. One by one, each antenna beams a low-power microwave signal through the skull, and the other 11 detect how the signal has changed after passing through the brain. The device then analyzes the microwave patterns to detect cranial bleeding. The whole process takes only a few seconds.
Doctors now rely on CT scans of the brain to spot clots or bleeding, but precious time is wasted transporting patients to hospitals where these bulky machines are located. "The ultimate goal is to give treatment in the ambulance because so many brain cells are dying each second," says Persson.
Read the whole article to learn more - but this would be a great advance and could potentially save a lot of lives and prevent countless disabilities.

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