STAT Health launches wearable to tackle orthostatic conditions

A device worn in the ear has been launched by STAT Health, which measures blood flow to the head to better understand symptoms such as dizziness, brain fog, headaches, fainting and fatigue that occur on standing.

By Cora Lydon, Digital Health

ME Association Comment

“This could be a helpful development in the management of orthostatic intolerance (OI) and other symptoms relating to autonomic nervous system dysfunction if it really does provide an accurate measurement of changes in blood flow to the brain.

“However, this American device won’t be available till later in the year and it looks as though it will involve a monthly subscription. Before we can make any recommendations we will need to have information from research studies that properly evaluate and confirm that it does help with the self management of OI in ME/CFS.”

Dr Charles Shepherd,
Trustee and
Hon. Medical Adviser
to the ME Association.

Dr Charles Shepherd

Article Extracts

The symptoms are common in people with long Covid, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue syndrome and other orthostatic conditions.

Blood flow to the head is considered a key biomarker for this type of illness, according to the doctors at John Hopkins, Brigham and Women’s and Harvard Medical centres. The wearable captures this vital information and presents it in a user-friendly manner to users via a STAT app. The data can help them to better understand and manage their symptoms.

“Cerebral Blood Flow (CBF) is the critical missing vital sign – poor CBF is the cause of common orthostatic symptoms such as dizziness and brain fog.

“However, it’s not easy to measure CBF, so most clinics approximate using secondary metrics of heart rate and blood pressure, which often mislead.

“Unfortunately, this frequently leads to the wrong conclusion that the symptoms are just psychological, when in fact, there are physiological abnormalities.”

Peter Rowe, M.D., Sunshine Natural Wellbeing Foundation professor of chronic fatigue and related disorders, Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The STAT Health device uses an optical sensor to tap into a shallow ear artery in order to measure a proxy to ultrasound-derived CBF. It also incorporates an accelerometer, a pressure sensor, temperature sensors, AI edge computing and a micro solar panel to maintain its charge.

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