Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison is one of 20 rehabilitation hospitals nationwide researching a new medical device for stroke patients.
As part of the EMAGINE Stroke Recovery Trial funded by BrainQ, an Israel-based technology company that developed the device, JFK Johnson is enrolling patients four to 21 days following a stroke.
The wearable technology, which delivers electromagnetic therapy to the brain to accelerate healing, “aims to enhance recovery and reduce disability after neurologic damage caused by stroke,” JFK Johnson said in a Jan. 25 announcement.
The device can be used in a hospital setting, outpatient clinic or at home and would enhance JFK Johnson’s existing rehabilitation therapies. The institute treats approximately 750 stroke patients a year.
Dr. Sara Cuccurullo, chair, vice president and medical director of JFK Johnson and principal investigator of the study, said in a statement, “We’re participating in this innovative research and other clinical trials because we’re continually working to maximize the recovery of our patients and advance the science of stroke recovery.”
In February 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration designated BrainQ’s AI-powered technology as a breakthrough device, allowing the company to work with the FDA to expedite development and clearance, among other benefits.
According to BrainQ, “The therapy is based on biological insights retrieved from brainwaves, using proprietary machine learning algorithms that translate into a frequency-tuned low intensity electromagnetic field.”
The company said that current treatments are affective only in the first few hours following stroke. Only about 5% of victims in the U.S. arrive at the hospital in time to benefit from these treatments.
BrainQ’s technology aims to extend this window by offering a treatment that can be used in the days and weeks following stroke.
The program entails more than 45 hour-long sessions, five times a week, with weekly follow-ups from a JFK Johnson rehabilitation specialist.
Nationwide, 150 randomized subjects will be enrolled in the trial.
“Stroke can be devastating. Improving outcomes for people recovering from stroke will have enormous impact for individuals and their families as well as far-reaching impact for our nation,” said Hayk Petrosyan, senior research scientist at JFK Johnson.
Yotam Drechsler, CEO of BrainQ, said the company was excited to work with the team at JFK Johnson on the study.
“JFK Johnson’s dedication to excellence in stroke care and research is unparalleled and we look forward to working together to fundamentally change the outcomes for stroke survivors,” Drechsler said.