A new wireless, Band-Aid-like sensor developed at Northwestern University could revolutionize the way patients manage hydrocephalus and potentially save the U.S. health care system millions of dollars.
A Northwestern Medicine clinical study successfully tested the device, known as a wearable shunt monitor, on five adult patients with hydrocephalus.
Hydrocephalus can affect adults and children. Often the child is born with the condition, whereas in adults, it can be acquired from some trauma-related injury, such as bleeding inside the brain or a brain tumor.
The current standard of care involves the surgical implantation of a straw-like catheter known as a ‘shunt,’ which drains the excess fluid out of the brain and into another part of the body.
Shunts have a nearly 100 percent failure rate over 10 years, and diagnosing shunt failure is notoriously difficult. More than a million Americans live with shunts and the constant threat of failure.
The groundbreaking new sensor, developed by the Rogers Research Group at Northwestern, could create immense savings and improve the quality of life for nearly a million people in the U.S. alone.
According to northwestern