This is good news for all those people who have been suffering from or have swallowing disorders because scientists now have developed a new wearable device that can help in relieving the suffering of patients with swallowing disorders as it will make their treatments easier. It is also said to be an affordable device.
The wearable device is a sensor sticker that mounts on the skin & connected with cables are attached firmly on the neck to a wireless transmitter unit.
This sensor sticker helps in measuring & recording the movements & muscle activities that are connected to swallowing.
The required information is then sent wirelessly through a separate unit attached on a person’s shirt to the software where later the data is analyzed by doctors.
Accurate coordination of six pairs of cranial nerves, more than 30 pairs of muscles of the head and neck & complex circuitry in the brainstem and several brain areas is required for successful completion of a swallow. And, in any case, if these pathways are disrupted, it can lead to acute swallowing disorders.
The study published in the journal Science Advances mentioned that the sensor stickers can be used around 10 times & then thrown away as they are a disposable device.
Chi Hwan Lee, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering in Purdue’s College of Engineering added that the sensor stickers are flexible & stretchable to work well with the skin & the curvilinear head and neck shape & the connected units have more rigid components & electronic chips.
He further added that the device is unique & that it is made to work well with the intricate & small muscles connected to swallowing.
Another associate professor of speech, language, and hearing sciences at Purdue University, Georgia A Malandraki said that they wanted to offer an affordable, reliable & patient-friendly device that can treat millions of patients with swallowing issues.
Georgia lastly said that many other devices are quite expensive, cannot be taken at home & even sometimes not available in rural areas.
Whereas, sensor stickers are designed with inexpensive components, are disposable & helps people with swallowing disorders in an affordable manner.