DeltaScan in UMC Utrecht scoop on the National News, 7 March 2018
DeltaScan is the first medical device that shows the probability of delirium
University Medical Center Utrecht and company Prolira BV of the Netherlands have developed an innovative device to detect delirium. This mobile monitor, the Deltascan, measures within one minute whether a patient has a delirium. With a delirium, patients suddenly suffer from serious confusion due to a physical cause, such as an infection. One in eight hospital patients, especially the elderly and Intensive Care patients, will experience this.
Delirium in a patient is still often difficult to recognize. Due to the diminished functioning of the brain, the patient does not respond adequately, is unable to concentrate, sleeps badly and often suffers from hallucinations. This change in behavior, causes patients to quietly withdraw or to become anxious, for example. But that can also be due to their hospitalization or other complaints such as depression or dementia. That is why it is difficult for nurses and doctors to diagnose a ‘delirium’.
“Research shows that in seven out of ten patients a delirium is initially not recognized by doctors. That is why questionnaires were developed to check this, but even after completing those lists, a delirium turns out to be only detected in five out of ten patients, “says neurologist-intensivist Arjen Slooter, one of the Deltascan inventors. “This is because these questionnaires also contain subjective elements and it is up to the doctor or nurse to make a diagnosis. The Deltascan, on the other hand, does an objective measurement. ”
Timely treatment of delirium saves the patient a lot of trouble. Because apart from the acute complaints, a delirium increases the chance of dementia later in life and even the chance of premature death. It also extends the time that a patient has to stay in hospital and leads to higher medical costs. “A delirium is easy to treat, but timely discovery is complicated,” says Slooter. “By measuring the brain activity we can see if there is a delirium, but that still takes a lot of time.”
Deltascan consists of a small strip with three electrodes placed on the head of the patient. An algorithm analyzes the EEG real-time and provides a score indicating the probability of a delirium. The doctor or nurse can immediately read this from the monitor. The monitor is actually a mobile EEG scanner that saves a lot of time. Slooter: “With EEG as we knew it up to now, it takes an hour to measure the brain activity and that is stressful for the patient. With DeltaScan we are ready in 1 minute. And by recognizing the probability of a delirium earlier, we can deal with it before it escalates. ”
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