Emerging Designs course 2021

On Time: AMRI Emergency Stroke Unit

A student team has developed two service concepts based on AMRI technology. The project explored the potential benefits the concepts might offer in 2030 and 2040.
Concept image of accessible MRI stroke unit with a picture of the van and the interiors

Team's description of the project

Strokes are a serious cause of death and disability worldwide. Ischemic strokes, the most common type of stroke, costs the Finnish healthcare services 362 million euros per year in the first year alone. Faster treatment times are associated with a better prognosis and reduced costs. This is why we believe accessible MRI to be a key factor for the future of stroke treatment especially in rural areas far from hospitals with an ageing, stroke prone population.

Our 2030 solution consists of an AMRI imaging unit that cooperates with treatment level ambulances. The unit would be van-sized and hold an AMRI device, a retractable stretcher and a digital screen for telecommunication.

To improve efficiency, the unit would be used for non-emergency imaging following predetermined routes along small villages and care centres. For emergency cases, the unit would function as an additional touchpoint capable of imaging and treating strokes that is closer to rural patients, decreasing time from the return trip.

Compared to the current time from stroke to treatment of 147 minutes in rural areas, the proposed service would be 84 minutes, a 63 minute decrease.

Considering an average of 5400 users per year, we have estimated the potential savings of this decrease in time to treatment to be 13.6 million euros per year which is a 3.7 percent decrease in first year ischemic stroke treatment costs in Finland.

For individual patients the time saved is equivalent to 126 more healthy days, and 1864 more healthy years in the country.

Additionally, the service would help in providing more equal healthcare across the country and reduce the need to use hospitals. Overall the service would offer numerous social, environmental and economic benefits for the country’s healthcare system and individual patients.
In the autumn of 2021 students enrolled in Emerging Designs course were given a brief to design concept for tackling problems in the healthcare system. The focus was on developing healthcare and social care in sparsely populated areas of the Nordics, visioned in 2030 with distance spanning solutions. Altogether seven concepts were created and AMRI Emergency Stroke Unit is one of them. 

Team members

Kristen Barretto

Xinyu Zhang

Karoliina Paulus (Finland)

Samyukta Santhakumar

More about the course and the related study programmes

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Emerging Designs course 2021

During Emerging Designs course seven student teams developed conceptual solutions for developing health care and social care in the rural areas. The focus of design work was in the Nordic countries, which vision in 2030 to be the most sustainable and integrated region in the world. Here you find the students' proposals with detailed descriptions.

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