Many cell phone users make all sorts of mistakes when sending texts, from basic dropped characters to horrendously inaccurate auto-corrections. A recent press release from the Henry Ford Health System has announced that medical professionals may be able to detect whether a recently sent message came from a stroke victim. Though this discovery obviously does not replace the need for more direct care and observation, it eventually could lead to better-informed treatment of similar conditions.
According to the release, a severely incorrect text message could be the result of a type of stroke with no other noticeable symptoms. The data was based on a specific study of a middle-aged man who seemed normal in most of his vital signs but could not produce a coherent text, and did not realize his inability. It was soon discovered that blood was being blocked from a certain section of the man's brain, as he had suffered what is known as an "acute ischemic" stroke. The effects can be seen in physical symptoms, but in this case, the only notable indication was a failing of the victim to understand language.
The head of the Henry Ford Medical Center research team that made this discovery was Dr. Omran Kaskar, who said that such "dystextia" may prove to be a useful and even critical test when examining stroke victims.
"Because text messages are always time-stamped when they're sent they may also help establish when the stroke symptoms were at least present or even when they began," he said in the release.
It is not clear whether this approach could specifically be applied to text messaging services in the future, but regardless it is at least evident that communications systems are key to medical practices and may become even more vital as technology becomes more sophisticated.