Stroke-related disability is responsible for more than $50 billion in costs each year, without even considering the impact on the quality of life and productivity of loved ones caring for the stroke survivor. MedTech Innovator award winner MicroTransponder aims to help with a therapy that pairs vagus nerve stimulation with neurorehabilitation, to restore functions lost, even years after a stroke.
Advances in medicine often create new categories of unmet clinical need, simply because patients who would have died without the new therapy live on. Such is the case for ischemic stroke, the survival rates of which have gone up dramatically in the last decade because of the advent of effective thrombolytic interventions, the creation of focused stroke centers, and the success of hospitals in achieving faster door-to-reperfusion times. But with this increasingly effective life-saving capability comes a new set of problems without effective solutions: disability and impairment in survivors.