How Speech and Language Therapists use RehaIngest

Detection and management of swallowing problems (Dysphagia) in acute stroke is highly recommended by clinical guidelines and yet provision of this service is often inadequate.

RehaIngest electrode placement

RehaIngest electrode placement

Dysphagia is a frequent and serious complication of stroke and videofluoroscopic evidence suggests the presence of swallowing disorders in 64-90% of conscious stroke patients in the acute phase with aspiration confirmed in 22-42% of cases. When dysphagia is present there is an increased risk of respiratory tract infection and aspiration.

Clinical guidelines suggest that patients with dysphagia should be screened to identify those who should be referred for a full clinical assessment. The first question is how can this initial screening be quantified and made reliable?

RehaIngest is the only system that offers real-time or long-term (up to 8 hours) non-invasive monitoring of the swallowing performance. It is NOT a replacement or alternative to videofluoroscopy but it can be a valuable tool for the Speech and Language therapist in screening and training patients to see who should be referred for more detailed investigation.

RehaIngest allows the therapist to do what they always want to do in assessing or managing dysphagia - and it ADDS a way of accurately visualising the quality of swallowing in the pharyngeal phase without a complicated or invasive setup process.

RehaIngest uses BOTH EMG and bioimpedence to accurately detect each swallow

RehaIngest uses BOTH EMG and bioimpedence to accurately detect each swallow

RehaIngest is a portable medical device that combines EMG and bioimpedance measurements to automatically detect and classify the quality of swallowing function. This combination of measurements provides detection accuracy that is far more reliable than that offered by measuring EMG alone.

The system consists of a measurement module, tablet computer, electrode cables, unique software and some inexpensive disposable electrodes. The software allows three basic modes of operation.

  • real-time monitoring and classification of swallowing

  • long term monitoring (up to 8 hours)

  • New in 2019 - biofeedback training (games that reinforce the retraining of swallowing)

It is the combination of bioimpedance and EMG that reduces artefacts and increases the accuracy of swallow detection. The therapist can mark what is being swallowed (saliva, water, solids etc) in real-time monitoring and then the software will automatically classify each swallow attempt by comparing it against a database of more than 3000 normal events. When long-term monitoring has concluded the data can be captured from the measurement module by simply reconnecting to the tablet computer.

Each detected swallow is classified according to the Speed, Elevation and Duration of the event. Each event and aggregate statistics are scored based on their level of risk.

Learn more at our RehaIngest product page

RehaingestDerek Jones