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App provides a FAST way to diagnose strokes

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have developed a new smart phone application to help the public rapidly diagnose strokes.

Stroke is the third biggest killer in Scotland after heart disease and cancer. A stroke is caused by an interruption of the blood supply to the brain and it is essential that medical assistance is sought rapidly. Dr Whiteley of the University of Edinburgh Division of Clinical Neurosciences said, “Having a stroke is an emergency just like having a heart attack.” David Clark, chief executive of Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland said, “In a typical stroke, you loose two million brain cells a minute so it is vital that you are treated as quickly as possible.”

The FAST campaign is run jointly by NHS Scotland and Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland. It aims to help the public rapidly diagnose a stroke by concentrating on three key features: Face, Arms and Speech. The app asks users if the person can smile, if they can lift both arms, and if their speech is slurred. If these symptoms are present they are told to call 999 rapidly (the Time aspect of the campaign). The app also provides information on different kinds of stroke and information about how to contact Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland.

The FAST test app is the first of its kind and is available on both Apple and Android phones. David Clark, chief executive of CHSS said “We hope that our app will help people to recognise the symptoms of stroke and guide them through the process of calling for help.”

The app was developed by Dr William Whiteley and Graeme Heron of the University of Edinburgh Division of Clinical Neurosciences. The app can be downloaded by searching the AppStore for “CHSS FAST”.

Michelle C. Williams

Comments

As a third year medical

As a third year medical student, I have a strong interest in diagnosing strokes fast. I think this is an awesome app. I first read about it on another website and I am just doing more research on it right now. I will tell my classmates about it. I really think it's amazing.

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