Motion sensors track speech and swallowing patterns
Elliott Abel/Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
AUSTIN, Texas — Stretchy sensors that stick to the throat could track the long-term recovery of stroke survivors.
These new Band-Aid‒shaped devices contain motion sensors that detect muscle movement and vocal cord vibrations. That sensor data could help doctors diagnose and monitor the effectiveness of certain treatments for post-stroke conditions like difficulty swallowing or talking, researchers reported February 17 in a news conference at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Up to 65 percent of stroke survivors have trouble swallowing, and about a third of survivors have trouble carrying on conversations.
The devices can monitor speech patterns more reliably than microphones by sensing tissue movement rather than recording sound. “You don’t pick up anything in terms of ambient noise,” says study coauthor John Rogers, a materials scientist and bioengineer at Northwestern University in