Why is this funding needed?
Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the UK and worldwide. It’s estimated that stroke costs the UK £26billion per year. This cost includes money required for life-changing emergency treatments as well as long-term care, and care provided by informal carers, such as family and friends.
Research and development of technologies can reduce this cost by improving treatment and care for people affected by stroke. Regardless of the cost, stroke has a devastating impact on a person’s life, and many stroke survivors and their carers don’t receive the support they need. These projects will develop new technologies that hold hope for improving care for people affected by stroke and increasing access to it.
The projects will also tackle unanswered questions established in the Stroke Priority Setting Partnership that brought together people affected by stroke and professionals working in stroke care. Research to improve recognition and response to stroke or TIA, as well as resource and organise community stroke services are top priorities that these projects can address through the development of new technologies.
Why is the Stroke Association working with SBRI Healthcare?
Our charity has limited funds for research. However, by collaborating with SBRI Healthcare, our charity can drive more funding into stroke where it might have been invested elsewhere.
SBRI Healthcare’s aim is to get the industry to:
- Improve patient care.
- Increase efficiency in and enable the NHS to tackle healthcare challenges.
- Improve the UK economy by supporting research and development.
SBRI Healthcare is funded by NHS England and Improvement and supported by the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN). You can find out more about the organisation in a webinar about the launch of this funding.
Also, as our charity has built close connections with the stroke community, including people affected by stroke and researchers, we can connect people with different expertise and contribute our own to support research that will improve the lives of people affected by stroke.
Lee, a stroke survivor member of the Stroke Voices in Research group said: “I was on the panel of experts that decided which awards would be funded. My expertise helped me understand which projects could best address issues that patients face. It also showed how patient involvement and participation in the project can improve research and the development of the technologies. Overall, the experience was really uplifting and interesting. I look forward to finding out how the projects progress.”
What projects were funded?
Improving stroke diagnosis to prevent death and disability
M-Trust Imagine Limited
Ultrasound imaging is used for many health procedures to look inside the body, and it’s fast, affordable and safe. However, it isn’t powerful enough to see into the brain through the skull. “Full-waveform inversion” uses advanced computational techniques to improve the clarity of ultrasound images. It could help paramedics understand what is shown in an ultrasound image of the brain. The team hope to test how this technology can be used with ultrasound to understand images of the brain.
Large artery stroke patients can have a thrombectomy, which dramatically decreases disability caused by stroke. However, they must be diagnosed quickly. Pockit Diagnostics have shown that two chemicals in the blood can identify patients with this type of stroke. The team hope to test 100 prototype blood tests to understand if the device could be used by paramedics to detect large artery stroke patients that could have a thrombectomy.
Improving treatment and care for rehabilitation and life after stroke
- Add improvement learned from previous testing with stroke survivors and design pilot testing to understand how OnTrack could be used in the NHS.
- Work towards scaling-up use of OnTrack by getting regulatory approvals and planning for commercialisation.
- Develop MARS (Monitoring Arm Recovery after Stroke), a new support system for rehabilitation of arm function after stroke.
- Do an early-stage evaluation of the technology to understand its impact on stroke survivors, healthcare professionals and costs of care.
Virtual reality for stroke rehabilitation at home
- Includes a range of vision tests.
- Could be used for stroke survivors with a range of severity of impairment.