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The aim of the ULTRAFAST project is the technological development of a non-CT-based, space-saving, telemedically networkable instrument for stroke diagnostics for use in the emergency medical services. In future times, this should enable paramedics to detect cerebral artery occlusion and cerebral hemorrhage in "normal" ambulances. Under the guidance of a telemedicine neurologist, systemic thrombolysis therapy or specific anti-bleeding therapies might already be applied during the emergency. Other treatments, such as mechanical thrombectomy, might be set-up beforehand in a specialized clinic after advance notice by the ambulance. Like other approaches for pre-hospital diagnostics and therapy, ULTRAFAST aims to save valuable time between diagnosis and start of treatment and thereby aims to improve the prognosis for stroke patients. The technologies used in ULTRAFAST do not use ionizing radiation and are harmless according to current knowledge.
The following technologies are to be developed in the project:
- Automation of transcranial duplex sonography for the visualization of large intracranial vascular occlusions and deep cerebral hemorrhages
- Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) for the detection of hemorrhages close to the cranium and investigation of local changes in blood flow in the cerebral cortex
- System integration in the ambulance with regard to space requirements, timing and telemedical networking
The subcomponents and the final diagnostic device are initially to be tested in feasibility studies on small patient groups at the Charité. In a follow-up project, clinical use, safety and validity are to be examined compared to the gold standard of CT examinations on board the STEMOs. Finally, a scientific evaluation should take place in the conventional emergency medical service.