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by Matthew Kesinger, BA

AlphaStroke is first device that can detect stroke in the ambulance and ensure patients are triaged to a stroke equipped hospital

Pittsburgh, PA Medical Device

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About this project

The problem we solve:
There is currently no objective and comprehensive stroke screening tool available today. The current standard is a clinical exam called a stroke scale. Unfortunately the stroke scale requires practice and training and is inconsistent across practitioners. In the emergency room, doctors prefer the objectiveness of a CT scan or MRI to supplement a negative stroke scale result on patients with common symptoms like dizziness or headaches. Currently 50% of stroke patients must be transfered to a stroke center, adding an average delay of 110 minutes.  A delay in stroke treatment associated with transfer brings an approximate cost of $32,000 per patient in short term logistics and hospitalization costs (aggregate ~$13B/year) and $100,000 in long term disability care costs (aggregate ~$40B/year)
About our solution:
Durable, portable, and easy to use, AlphaStroke works by connecting specially designed electrodes to the scalp and alerts medics to possible strokes within 90 seconds. No other stroke detecting equipment is as fast, cost effective, or works in as many environments as AlphaStroke. The device measures brain waves on both sides of the head. Strokes are asymmetric, and the algorithms driving AlphaStroke capitalize on that fact. We estimate an impact on 300,000 patients a year saving 8,000 lives and preventing disability at discharge for nearly 100,000 patients. In hospitals, AlphaStroke decreases costs by eliminating 2 million unnecessary CT scans while protecting patients from needless radiation exposure. The total short and long term cost savings is upwards of $25 Billion a year.
Progress to date: We have built proof of concept prototype and received IRB study approval from 2 regional hospitals. Our proof of concept trial is ready to begin enrolling patients. It is a 20 patient study that will test the functioning of our Generation 1 prototype. We have completed successful 3rd party engineering design review

About Our Team

Mr. Matthew Kesinger, BA
Medical Student, Medical Student
Location: Pennsylvania
Medical school: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Bio: I was an EMT in Boston, MA for two years before moving to Pittsburgh. During this time, I learned firsthand how hard it can be to diagnose a stroke with just a clinical exam. During my medical school training at the University of Pittsburgh, I conducted research and published on the difficulties of prehospital providers diagnosing stroke. My years of work on this problem led him to create AlphaStroke
Hospital Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Title: CEO

About Our Company

Forest Devices
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Twitter: @ForestDevices
Product stage: proto
Sales: Working on it
Employees: 3-5

How We Help Patients

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the US, but it is only the 4th leading cause of death. Many of us have witnessed that devastation that a stroke can have on a family member or friend. The most important action to reduce stroke-caused disability is to identify and treat stroke earlier. We know that even a delay of a few minutes can mean permanent disability of a stroke patient. Our vision is that no stroke patient ever has to go to a hospital that can't provide the care that patient needs. AlphaStroke can be the difference between walking out of the hospital and going home, and never walking again, being confined to a nursing home.

How We Help Physicians

How many times during your training and how many times now at your current facility are head imaging scans conducted against guidelines? How many patients have needless radiation exposure. I remember vividly the first time I presented to an attending in the ED on a vertigo patient. The attending, who was a great doctor and a fantastic mentor, agreed with my findings, interpretation, and plan, except that she added a head CT. Before I could even question, she volunteered that we were getting it because even though it wasn't guideline driven, and even though she had no suspicion that our patient was having a stroke or any other acute life-threatening neuropathology, she nonetheless had felt the pressure to obtain objective imaging data for 'medical-legal' reasons. AlphaStroke, in such cases, could provide objective data more quickly, more cheaply, and without needless radiation.

Challenge Mission

Mission: I went to med school for the same reason most do: to relieve and prevent suffering. Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the US, and with the help of the AMA, AlphaStroke can reduce this.
Use of funds: Right now, we have a small feasibility trial that has IRB-approval. This study has a price tag of $24,508. Price winnings will go to pay for this study.
Intellectual Property Status: Utility and PCT filed in March 2016 on expedited pathway
FDA Status: 510(k) class II with identified predicate. We will have a presubmission meeting with FDA in the Fall to obtain further guidance.
Personal Message: Help us take the next step to fundamentally changing the way that we approach stroke care.


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    05/20/2016 Mr. Matthew Kesinger - Medical Student

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    05/20/2016 Rebecca Groeninger - Other

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    05/19/2016 Marvin Forovsky - Concerned Citizen

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    05/19/2016 Marvin Forovsky - Concerned Citizen

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    05/18/2016 Casey Papovan - Concerned Citizen

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Matthew Kesinger, BA
Medical Student
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

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