Philips also hosted a symposium titled ‘Challenging the Status Quo of Stroke Care’ on the first day of the congress. What did that cover?
Our symposium covered some of the latest innovations as well as future developments that could help healthcare providers put effective stroke care infrastructures in place and improve patient management.
Dr. Marc Ribo, interventional neurologist at University Hospital Vall d'Hebron (Barcelona, Spain) gave a presentation on an artificial intelligence (AI) powered smartphone app, currently being developed by healthtech start-up CVAid, that analyses face and arm movement characteristics, together with question-and-answer results, to triage patients in ambulances and emergency departments and identify those with large vessel occlusion (LVO) stroke. Those patients could then be quickly routed to the nearest stroke care center where they can get the right treatment. Today, a large number of stroke patients are routed to the wrong hospital, where they don’t have access to the right treatment. This causes huge delays, with the result that millions of brain cells die unnecessarily.
Nicole Cancelliere, Research Program Manager and Neurointerventional Technologist at Unity Health Toronto (Toronto, Canada), spoke about innovations in 3D neuroimaging currently in development at Philips that will provide the diagnostic confidence needed to facilitate a time-saving ‘Direct-to-Angio-Suite’ pathway for the faster treatment of LVO stroke. We know from the literature that a significant amount of time is spent performing diagnostic imaging to confirm a treatable stroke. By offering advanced imaging in the angio-suite, diagnosis and treatment can be done in the same room, saving precious time for eligible stroke patients.
Professor Wim van Zwam, Neurointerventional Radiologist at the Maastricht University Medical Center (Maastricht, the Netherlands) discussed ‘Reperfusion therapy for wake-up stroke patients: forget about 'last known well'!’. Today, the ‘last known well’ time dictates the protocol that is followed in the hospital. So-called ‘late window patients’ will get extra imaging and tests, causing additional delays. Prof. van Zwam proposed that wake-up stroke patients – those whose stroke symptoms are only noticed when they wake from sleep – who currently account for around 20% of stroke cases, should be treated in the same way as patients with an early symptom onset time. Based on his experience of treating hundreds of stroke patients every year, he believes that a large number of these patients wake up as a result of stroke. He therefore argues that wake-up stroke cases are really early onset cases and should be treated according to the guidelines for early time-window patients.
The last speaker was Manish Wadhwa, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Philips’ Ambulatory, Monitoring and Diagnostics Business and a practicing cardiologist/electrophysiologist, who spoke about the importance of post-operatively monitoring stroke patients for atrial fibrillation (AF). It is well known that AF is a common cause of ischemic stroke and a risk factor for subsequent strokes. He suggested, however, that the frequency and duration of AF that constitutes a risk factor for stroke is still open to question, and that continuous monitoring and analysis of data over days and weeks, such as can be obtained using Philips’ ePatch, will be important to develop algorithms that can detect stroke-significant AF in patients.