Ambulance-mounted CT scanner project gets underway
Adelaide company Micro-X (MX1) has started developing a small CT brain scanner that can be fitted in ambulances and emergency aircraft. If successful, the device will allow paramedics and retrieval teams to diagnose and then start treating stroke patients in the golden hour – the first hour after a stroke.
Today Micro-X signed a Project Agreement that will unlock $8 million of funding from a $40 million grant awarded to the Australian Stroke Alliance under the Australian Government’s Frontier Health and Medical Research initiative. The funding will contribute to the development of the scanner for patient imaging trials in 2023.
This year, stroke will affect more than 15 million people worldwide – 5 million will die and another 5 million will be permanently disabled. In Australia, there are about 38,000 stroke events annually, or more than 100 a day. However, if diagnosis can occur within 60 minutes of suffering a stroke – the so-called ‚ÄúGolden Hour” – chances of survival and a positive recovery are drastically improved.
Micro-X’s exciting project could allow brain scans to take place at the point of first response, meaning ambulance teams can identify a stroke has occurred and begin suitable treatment.
It all centres on the company’s highly portable, lightweight x-ray platform technology that uses novel nanomaterials to create x-rays within a tiny form factor. Development of this¬† platform has been assisted by ANFF staff at the University of South Australia, the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, and Macquarie University. These sites are looking forward to assisting further as the stroke project develops.
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