People who are at higher-than-average risk for stroke may appreciate a device that Samsung’s creative team has developed. While it’s currently in prototype stages, the developers believe that the device could predict a stroke before it happens, thus providing a user the opportunity to seek medical help to reduce the risk — or to receive medical assistance more quickly if a stroke occurs. The device may also be useful for other medical uses, such as monitoring heart health and sleep patterns.

The wearable device comes in the form of a headset, and is partnered with your smartphone. Samsung Tomorrow explains that once the device is activated, it monitors brain activity and sends the information to a smartphone app, with the entire process taking less than a minute.

Samsung is calling the device the Early Detection Sensor & Algorithm Package, or EDSAP. It would find abnormalities in brain waves that might indicate an impending problem. A stroke is, according to the National Institute for Health, caused by blockage of blood to part of the brain, commonly caused by blood clots. Samsung’s device, through reading brain waves, could find stroke risks, such as buildup in the blood vessels in the brain, or abnormally formed blood vessels, that might signify a higher risk.

A patient who has learned that he is at high risk for a stroke can now make dietary and lifestyle choices to lower the risk. In some cases, blood pressure medications may be administered, or long-term monitoring may be undertaken.

In the case of a stroke that cannot be prevented, an early warning could be life-changing. In many cases, a stroke victim is not aware that he or she has even suffered a stroke, and may not seek medical attention right away, or may be unconscious and unable to seek aid. Simply knowing that a stroke could be imminent may be enough to allow closer monitoring and contact, so that medical attention can be administered right away.

CNET notes that the device is only the first wave of this type of wearable technology — at some point, it could be placed in such wearables as hairpins, glasses, headbands, or other devices that could be worn at all times, for constant monitoring. A person at high risk of stroke could have these devices connected with a medical alert system. The device could detect a stroke when it occurred, and notify medical personnel immediately. The American Stroke Association notes that immediate medical care saves lives and reduces the long-term effects of a stroke.

Samsung’s device is a prototype, and the developers even note that neurologists have responded with skepticism and derision to the idea, but it may be the first step in a new wave of stroke prevention and treatment, that could save lives, and improve quality of life.

[Image: Samsung]