Latest work:


" Improving the outlook for stroke patients "


Strokes are the 4th highest cause of death and the highest cause of long-term invalidity in the UK. About 110,000 people experience a stroke each year and some 1M people are already living with the consequences. The treatment and rehabilitation for these patients, including social care entitlements and the loss of productivity in the work place, costs the NHS and UK economy around £26bn annually [Stroke Association – State of the Nation] and this is rising. Heatley Consulting is developing an innovative new portable medical scanner that will help to dramatically reduce these costs by enabling stroke patients to be scanned more promptly at the site of their emergency. That will greatly improve the outlook for stroke patients and reduce the number who require costly rehabilitation and long term care after their stroke.


This scanner uses low intensity radio frequencies to determine whether a stroke has occurred. This ensures that the scanner is intrinsically safe for the patient and operator(s) and avoids the costly shielding and specialist infrastructure required by X-ray CT scanners.  This, combined with the inherently low cost of its component parts and a compact, lightweight and portable construction, means that it can be carried in ambulances and first response vehicles and used at the site of the emergency. This avoids the delays involved in transporting the patient to a hospital to be scanned by an X-ray CT machine so that a diagnosis can be made, which is a fundamental requirement of the current patient pathway. Instead, the patient can be scanned and an initial diagnosis made at the site of the emergency, which will help to shorten the time to treatment being commenced.



The intrinsically low cost of the new scanner means that it can also be widely deployed on crash trollies in hospital emergency departments and high dependency wards. This will help to reduce the waiting times that stroke in-patients typically experience before they can be scanned and a diagnosis made. The new scanner can also be deployed in nursing and care homes for the elderly where there is a localised population at an increased risk of stroke.


Crucially, this scanner will enable an increased percentage of patients who present with stroke-like symptoms to be assessed, diagnosed and initial treatment administered within the ‘golden hour’: the first hour after the onset of their stroke. This will significantly improve the outlook for these patients which in turn will help to reduce the annual ~£26bn cost of stroke to the nation. The benefits of the new scanner to patients and health organisations and the nation as a whole are potentially profound.


The scanner’s environmental impact will be negligible compared with X-ray CT scanners which use highly radioactive components and shielding materials that contain harmful elements, all of which require specialist end-of-life disposal. The new scanner uses components that are intrinsically safe and need no specialist disposal arrangements. Power consumption is also significantly lower, resulting in a very low carbon footprint.