Swedish scientists from the Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska Academy, and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, have created a helmet that can quickly determine whether a patient has suffered a stroke and can determine if a clot or leaky vessel was the cause.
The early prototype of the helmet is made from a re-purposed bicycle helmet that uses microwave signals to bounce off of the brain to build an image of what is happening throughout the brain. This picture is able to determine whether there as been a bleed or clot deep inside the patient's brain.
They have since built and tested a custom helmet to better fit the skulls of patients, and have tested it with the help of nurses and patients at a local hospital ward.
The end goal for the scientists is to adapt this helmet to fit into a pillow and give to ambulance crews to use on the way to the hospital.
Before a doctor can perform treatment, they must determine whether the stroke was caused by a clot or leaky blood vessel. When a person has a stroke, doctors must act within the first four hours to prevent the brain tissue from dying.
Currently, a computerized tomography (CT) scan shows the same results as the helmet, but it can take doctors an extended amount of time to schedule time with the machine even if the person is admitted as an emergency.
Testing is still underway, but if the scientists can successfully implement this new helmet, it will be great strides in stroke treatment.