Portable stroke detection devices: a systematic scoping review of prehospital applications

Susmita Chennareddy, Roshini Kalagara, Colton Smith, Stavros Matsoukas, Abhiraj Bhimani, John Liang, Steven Shapiro, Reade De Leacy, Maxim Mokin, Johanna T. Fifi, J. Mocco, Christopher P. Kellner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: The worldwide burden of stroke remains high, with increasing time-to-treatment correlated with worse outcomes. Yet stroke subtype determination, most importantly between stroke/non-stroke and ischemic/hemorrhagic stroke, is not confirmed until hospital CT diagnosis, resulting in suboptimal prehospital triage and delayed treatment. In this study, we survey portable, non-invasive diagnostic technologies that could streamline triage by making this initial determination of stroke type, thereby reducing time-to-treatment. Methods: Following PRISMA guidelines, we performed a scoping review of portable stroke diagnostic devices. The search was executed in PubMed and Scopus, and all studies testing technology for the detection of stroke or intracranial hemorrhage were eligible for inclusion. Extracted data included type of technology, location, feasibility, time to results, and diagnostic accuracy. Results: After a screening of 296 studies, 16 papers were selected for inclusion. Studied devices utilized various types of diagnostic technology, including near-infrared spectroscopy (6), ultrasound (4), electroencephalography (4), microwave technology (1), and volumetric impedance spectroscopy (1). Three devices were tested prior to hospital arrival, 6 were tested in the emergency department, and 7 were tested in unspecified hospital settings. Median measurement time was 3 minutes (IQR: 3 minutes to 5.6 minutes). Several technologies showed high diagnostic accuracy in severe stroke and intracranial hematoma detection. Conclusion: Numerous emerging portable technologies have been reported to detect and stratify stroke to potentially improve prehospital triage. However, the majority of these current technologies are still in development and utilize a variety of accuracy metrics, making inter-technology comparisons difficult. Standardizing evaluation of diagnostic accuracy may be helpful in further optimizing portable stroke detection technology for clinical use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111
JournalBMC Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Diagnosis
  • Emergency medical services
  • Prehospital
  • Stroke
  • Technology


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