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Microwave helmet able to see strokes

Lana Bandoim's picture

A new microwave helmet is able to see strokes and is showing potential as a possible tool for future emergency rooms. Research published in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering reveals the helmet could save lives and accurately diagnose different types of strokes in patients. It is capable of telling apart a stroke that is caused by a clot compared to one that is caused by bleeding.

Importance of a fast diagnosis for patients with strokes

Patients who are suffering from a stroke require a fast diagnosis and quick action from doctors to save their lives, and the microwave helmet can help. It uses microwaves to determine if the stroke is caused by bleeding or a clot, and it resembles a large cap with wires. Researchers are still developing the helmet, so the final product may be different than the current prototype.

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The type of stroke will determine the course of treatment, so doctors cannot waste time because brain damage can occur quickly. Each minute lost to a diagnosis can mean the life of the patient is hanging in the balance. The scientists involved in the study hope the new helmet can be a positive addition to emergency rooms around the world. However, the device will initially be tested in ambulances to collect more data.

Microwave helmets and the brain

The helmets will use microwaves to create an image of the brains for doctors or other medical staff to use during their diagnoses. Medical professionals view the microwave helmets as useful tools that could become portable devices and help patients in a variety of situations. Calling the helmet a Strokefinder, researchers believe that it has potential and requires more testing before it appears in every hospital or ambulance. However, they are determined to see the helmets succeed and are continuing to develop the devices.

Image: Mk2010/ Wikimedia Commons