Electronic Design
Microwave Helmet Takes the Guesswork Out of Quick Stroke Diagnosis

Microwave Helmet Takes the Guesswork Out of Quick Stroke Diagnosis

Signals transmitted via antennas from the Strokefinder helmet are interpreted by advanced algorithms to diagnose stroke victims before reaching the hospital.

Watch the Engineering TV video above for a look at how the Strokefinder works.

Electronic Design Europe Editor-in-Chief Paul Whytock recently gave talk on the Strokefinder, a microwave helmet device placed on a patient’s head to inspect brain tissue after a potential stroke. The helmet, developed by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, the Sahlgrenska Academy, and Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden, was created to quickly address the oxygen deprivation that kills millions of brain cells every minute during a stroke. One major problem plaguing stroke victims is the inability to diagnosis stroke or start treatment before arriving at the hospital.

Maria K. Regan with PTC, a Product and Service Advantage publication, wrote about the new device:

Enter Strokefinder, a clear plastic helmet fitted with antennas that surround the patient’s head. The antennas transmit and receive microwave pulses that scatter off the different tissues in the head in recognizable patterns. These patterns enable Strokefinder, which includes a laptop that uses sophisticated signal-analysis algorithms, to differentiate between a clot, bleeding, and healthy tissue.

The antennas transmit microwave signals into the brain while receiving antennas listen for reflected signals. To determine bleeding or a clot, advanced algorithms interprets the received signals. Signal-analysis algorithms depend on machine learning and can distinguish characteristic scattering patterns caused by a clot or bleeding stroke, in addition to natural distinctions between healthy tissues. Bleeding is readily diagnosed, but a clot and oxygen deprivation is harder to define. The system is expected to be tested with ambulance crews during the fall.

Watch the video above for a detailed look at the new helmet, and be sure to check out more videos like this at Engineering TV!


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