Researchers have developed a new way to use iPhones – to diagnose strokes.
Penn State University scientists teamed up with Houston Methodist Hospital “to identify the debilitating medical episodes based on abnormalities in a person’s speech and facial movements detectable with the iconic smartphone,” explained Fox Business.
“When a patient experiences symptoms of a stroke, every minute counts,” said James Wang, professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State. “But when it comes to diagnosing a stroke, emergency room physicians have limited options: send the patient for often expensive and time-consuming radioactivity-based scans or call a neurologist — a specialist who may not be immediately available — to perform clinical diagnostic tests.”
Fox Business also shared a photo of Kathryn Atkinson, a patient at Houston Methodist Hospital. Atkinson participated in a smartphone screening test that will analyze stroke-like symptoms.
A machine-learning algorithm helps make the diagnosis process for strokes faster for doctors.
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“Currently, physicians have to use their past training and experience to determine at what stage a patient should be sent for a CT scan,” Wang also said. “We are trying to simulate or emulate this process by using our machine learning approach,” he then added.
The statement explained the team’s innovative approach. It “is the first to analyze the presence of stroke among actual emergency room patients with suspicion of stroke by using computational facial motion analysis and natural language processing to identify abnormalities in a patient’s face or voice, such as a drooping cheek or slurred speech.”