UC Health testing new device that could help monitor brain bleeds

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jun 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 18:02:54-04

CINCINNATI -- Local doctors at UC Health are testing a new investigative device that could help monitor people hospitalized with neurological issues such as intracranial hemorrhage.

According to Dr. Matthew Flaherty, a professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, traditional brain imaging can be tough to do multiple times a day, so the device provides a way to monitor patients on a continuous basis.

"Often if they are very sick in the ICU, they may be sedated; they may be on a breathing machine and it's hard to know what is going on in their head," Flaherty said. "So, we wanted to develop a device to help us with that problem."

Dr. Flaherty and others have developed a prototype, a headset that works on a radio frequency wavelength. There are nine antennae in the headset, and each one transmits and receives.

The spongy sensors within the device can detect changes in a patient's brain such as increased signs of bleeding to swelling.

 "We want to give physicians a way to monitor their patients especially when they can't monitor them simply by examining them, especially those in ICU."

The device has been used to detect hemorrhages in animals, and now it is being tested on humans.

For Flaherty, the long-range goals are to use the headset in the ICU and hopefully expand to ambulance care, emergency rooms and other settings.

You can see a demonstration of the device in the video above.