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Monday, October 2, 2023

Ugandan University Designs Device To Curb Stroke


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Dialysis patients are at a high risk of having a stroke, but they can’t tell. To be certain, a doctor must examine murmurs and hums produced by blood movement.

A team in a laboratory in Mbarara is using a demo to carefully listen to the vascular sounds in a laboratory.

Written software documents it to determine if it is normal.

The early stroke detection device consists of a set of machines.

The idea came from Mbarara University of Science and Technology biomedical engineering students.

The students were inspired by the loss that can be avoided if the neurological condition is treated promptly.

Following a visit to the regional referral hospital; “we were also able to establish that interruptions to blood flow within the brain through the carotid artery are also an indicator of ischemic stroke occurrence”; team leader Keith Richard Kwagala explained.

He continued; “So building on that we were able to note that a device that can constantly monitor this even for a patient who doesn’t have the opportunity to always go for a checkup; can have a personal bodyguard to tell them when it is right to prevent a stroke.”

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About The Device

The device, made from locally available materials, detects strokes at an early stage. It is a much-needed intervention in Uganda.

The early stroke detection device has the potential to lessen the neurological burden.

A country where a lack of medical equipment means that many people still have to go to another country for special treatment.

The university’s biomedical engineering department focuses on medical imaging, medical devices, and rehabilitation engineering.

“We use a user-centered design approach, where we take students into the community to identify health challenges.

We bring these students back into our labs and they are able to go through a design program where they come up with innovations that can really solve our health challenges”; explains William Wasswa, Head of Department, Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

Every year, at least 9,000 Ugandans die from strokes, and 15 million individuals globally. This is according to World Health Organization statistics.

The developers received a $1,000 grant.

They are also finalists in the East Africa Digital Innovations for Business Resilience in the East African Community challenge.

However, they will need more money to get this prototype off the shelf and onto the market.


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