Study finds stroke is more costly than predicted, highlighting need for prevention

A recent study in the journal Stroke found that the long-term healthcare costs associated with stroke are higher than previously believed, especially for those patients suffering from intracerebral hemorrhage, highlighting the need to prevent the costly, dangerous condition.

Researchers from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, concluded that the 10-year cost to the healthcare system of an intracerebral hemorrhage is $9,032 Australian per year ($7,948), compared to the consensus estimate of $6,101 per year ($5,368). The 10-year cost of ischemic stroke is $5,418 per year ($4,768), according to the study.

The team interviewed more than 280 stroke patients as part of the North East Melbourne Stroke Incidence Study.

"This study shows we need to have a renewed focus on stroke prevention because the costs of providing care to people who suffer from a stroke are unlikely to diminish," Monash University professor Dominique Cadilhac said in a news release. "Prompt treatment is also essential because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke; the less damage to the brain is likely to happen. Health care providers can ensure the maximum opportunity for reducing the likelihood of disability and death in their patients after stroke by providing best practice care, such as access to Stroke Care Units."

Several devices are being deployed to prevent and treat stroke. Fierce 15 member AliveCor has developed an algorithm and app that can diagnose atrial fibrillation via an ECG mounted to the back of a smart phone. Afib is a common precursor to stroke.

In addition, Irvine,CA-based startup Flint Rehabilitation Devices has launched a device that could make the rehabilitation process more effective and less excruciating. Its MusicGlove is a sensorized glove that allows users to play a therapy-based music game. It requires that patients complete specific hand movements such as a pincer grasp and a key pinch grip in tandem to scrolling notes on a touchscreen console.

- read the university news release
- here's the study abstract in Stroke

Special Report: FierceMedicalDevices' 2014 Fierce 15 - AliveCor- 2014 Fierce 15

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