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VIDEO: SwallowSTRONG Patient Testimonial

Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, impacts a wide range of patients. Swallowing problems often occur in patients with weak lingual musculature, but can also be caused by stroke, Parkinson’s Disease or cancers of the head and neck.

Mark, a head and neck cancer survivor, is one such patient. After being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, he began to encounter swallowing problems. He found it harder and harder to swallow, and often found that he would aspirate, or have things he swallowed go down the wrong pipe, straight into his lungs.

Then Mark found treatment with the SwallowSTRONG System. In the video below, Mark describes his positive experience with the SwallowSTRONG therapy solution.

Check out Mark’s story:

For more information, visit swallowsolutions.com

CASE STUDY: Patient with Aneurysm and Severe Dysphagia has G-tube Removed After Using SwallowSTRONG

The patient, “John” has lived in a skilled nursing facility in Texas since suffering a large aneurysm. For 2.5 years, John received all nutrition via a G-tube. The speech pathologist, Emily –  employed by Rehab Synergies – had worked with John before, but was able to pick him back up on caseload when she got the SwallowSTRONG System. The SwallowSTRONG technology allowed for a new and more systematic approach to oropharyngeal strengthening.

At the start of therapy with the SwallowSTRONG, John was barely able to move his tongue. Under the excellent direction of Emily, he progressively strengthened his swallowing muscles, and is now able to eat orally and had the G-tube removed. 

Emily reported, “The patient and family loved seeing the progress in real time with the user interface as well as the progress printouts from the SwallowSTRONG Management System. SwallowSTRONG allowed us to push for maximum improvement and validated that patient was making progress. It’s definitely a great product to have in your therapy arsenal, especially after seeing the impact it made on such a severe case.”

John, his family,Emily and the team are all celebrating these significant improvements in swallowing safety and quality of life!

Recognizing Swallowing Problems in People with Dementia

Dysphagia is a serious issue regardless of other conditions the person may have. It can lead to serious health consequences, like malnutrition, aspiration pneumonia, and reduced quality of life.

But the condition can be even more difficult for people with dementia, and diagnosing a swallowing problem in a demented person can be difficult. Dementia patients may have difficulty communicating, or may forget that they have issues with swallowing food or drink.

How can clinicians or caretakers guard against dysphagia in patients with dementia?

Here are some subtle signs that may indicate a swallowing problem:

  • Coughing during eating
  • Constant clearing of the throat
  • Grimaces or painful expression during eating
  • Holding food in the side of the mouth
  • Spitting out food
  • Drooling while eating
  • Eating too fast
  • Unexpected weight lost
  • Wet, gurgle or hoarse-sounding voice
  • Touching the upper chest or throat when eating
  • Taking too much time to eat
  • Sorting, arranging, or playing with food
  • Excessive chewing, but no swallowing
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose

(Click here for more suggestions on recognizing, diagnosing and treating dysphagia in demented patients).

Swallow Solutions offers an innovative dysphagia treatment device called the SwallowSTRONG. The device strengthens the muscles involved in the swallow, and can help some people regain their ability to swallow. And, it’s so intuitive, patients with dementia have had success with the device.

Congratulations to Barb Cook for 35 Years of Service!

Swallow Solutions is pleased to congratulate Barb Cook, M.S., CCC-SP for 35 years of service in the speech pathology department at the Edwards Hines Jr. VA Hospital.

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Throughout her career, Barb has helped many patients with swallowing problems, and has recently helped bring SwallowSTRONG therapy to dysphagia patients.

The Hines VA is a T21 demonstration SwallowSTRONG clinic site, and helps to bring a multidisciplinary approach to dysphagia patients.

Barb was recognized for her service with a ceremony, where colleagues and a former patient gathered to honor her.

Congratulations again on 35 years of helping speech pathology patients!

How SSMS Makes Dysphagia Treatment Easier

For patients with difficulty swallowing (also known as dysphagia) SwallowSTRONG from Swallow Solutions can provide the strengthening therapy needed to regain the ability to swallow, and with it the ability to eat and drink normally.

The SwallowSTONG Management System (SSMS) is the perfect companion software to SwallowSTRONG. SSMS is a cloud-based system that allows for clinicians using SwallowSTRONG to treat dysphagia to track relevant patient data, making patient care quantifiable and easy to manage.

And SSMS is completely HIPAA compliant–no protected health information is ever collected or stored on the SwallowSTRONG device or on the SSMS.

Here’s how you can apply SSMS to make caring for your patients easier than ever.

Remotely view patient progress and reports

In some use cases, patents take SwallowSTRONG home with them to continue their therapy course between meetings with their speech language pathologist.

With SSMS, after each therapy course, data showing overall patient progress is automatically uploaded to a database that’s accessible to the clinician wherever they can reach the internet. That means that patients and clinicians no longer need to be in the same room for clinicians to see how patients are doing.

Monitor adherence

Therapy can’t work if a patient doesn’t do it. But SSMS allows clinicians to view how regularly patients are performing their prescribed therapy treatment.

Performance data from each therapy session is uploaded to SSMS automatically.

Remotely adjust therapy parameters

With SSMS, clinicians can make adjustments to the therapy remotely, making targets easier or more challenging depending on the situation.

If one patient is performing particularly well on her prescribed targets, and is no longer building strength at that level, a clinician using SSMS will be able to see that. In that situation, it may be appropriate to increase therapy targets, making the therapy more challenging so the patient continues to build strength.

On the flip side, if a patient is having a difficult time with a prescribed therapy, a clinician can adjust therapy targets down, so that that patient doesn’t become discouraged.

Download therapy data for analysis and report writing

Clinicians can evaluate a patient’s treatment simply by downloading all of the available patient data. Track ups and downs, increases in strength, and overall effectiveness of the treatment all through easy-to-read charts and graphs.

Learn more about SSMS and SwallowSTRONG by contacting Swallow Solutions

 

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Swallow Solutions Investor BrightStar Wins Innovation Award

We’d like to congratulate and celebrate our friends (and investors) at BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, Inc., who announced earlier this week that they had been recognized by the Wisconsin Innovation Awards. Check out their full press release on the award below:

MILWAUKEE, Sept. 29, 2015BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, Inc. today announced that it has been recognized by the Wisconsin Innovation Awards organization (WIA) for the foundation’s innovative work in the nonprofit sector. The awards ceremony took place on Aug. 18 at Discovery World in Milwaukee, and was presented by American Family Insurance and Baker Tilly Virchow Krause. WIA seeks to celebrate and inspire innovation by highlighting and honoring the development of groundbreaking and innovative ideas. It hopes to encourage an even greater environment of innovation throughout Wisconsin.

BrightStar also announced that its investment committee has authorized funding for four additional early-stage Wisconsin companies. The Wisconsin based companies receiving BrightStar investments are SteelGlaze Inc., Wausau; EmOpti Inc., Brookfield; Quietyme Inc., Neshkoro; and Bright Cellars Inc., Milwaukee.

“We were pleased to have our first co-investments with four prominent Wisconsin funding sources,” said Todd Sobotka, BrightStar’s portfolio manager. The lead investors, respectively, were N29 Capital Partners, a newly formed fund in north central Wisconsin, the Golden Angels Network, American Family Ventures, and CSA Partners.

The addition of these four investments brings the number of companies in the foundation’s portfolio to 26. The new investments total $660,000, bringing the total invested by the foundation since it started in February 2014 to more than $3.75 million.

“We have been looking forward to our first investment in Marathon County,” said Lorrie Keating, BrightStar’s vice president, “because we have two Wausau-based foundations, the Judd S. Alexander Foundation and the Dudley Foundation, that are BrightStar benefactors. We are making an extra effort to deploy these funds in their backyard. We were successful in doing so with our investment in SteelGlaze. This investment, and the one we made in the Neshkoro-based Quietyme, proves that there are opportunities for economic development statewide.”

Infinity Rehab Mountain Symposium

Swallow Solutions will be at the Infinity Rehab Mountain Symposium coming up this weekend in Denver, Colorado.

The Symposium offers continuing education for Infinity Rehab employees and other professional therapists. We’re expecting about 800-1000 people to be in attendance. Will you be one of them? If so, be sure to pay us a visit and catch our founder, Dr. JoAnne Robbins as she gives her course on Dysphagia Intervention.

From the course teaser: “This course will review currently understood neural circuitry involved in stroke, head and neck cancers neurodegenerative diseases including dementia, aging and frailty. Treatment interventions will be presented from the bottom-up and top-down perspectives for systematically approaching dysphagia treatment.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the Symposium and its courses, check out more teasers here.

Dysphagia Research Society Annual Meeting #DRS2015

This week, Swallow Solutions will be in attendance at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Dysphagia Research Society in Chicago.

Beginning with the post-graduate course on Wednesday, March 11, and continuing until the meeting adjourns on Saturday, March 14, members of the Swallow Solutions team will be available to discuss lingual strengthening with the SwallowSTRONG device, and it’s applications in different healthcare settings.

If you plan to be at the event, swing by and visit us! We look forward to seeing you! And if you’re not going to be able to make it, be sure to follow us on Twitter for updates, we’ll be posting throughout the event.

 

 

So, What Are Clinical Office Hours?

Did you miss Clinical Office Hours yesterday? Is this your first time even hearing about it? Fear not, dear reader, we’re here to help.

For the past several months, we’ve been offering a program called clinical office hours. In fact, we have a call scheduled for tomorrow (February 20), for 11 A.M. central time (how convenient!)

The idea behind these calls is for clinicians using the SwallowSTRONG device to call in with any clinical questions they might have, to speak directly with the Senior Director for Clinical Affairs here at Swallow Solutions, Jackie Hind MS/CCC-SLP, BCS-S.

Jackie is a Board Recognized Specialist in swallowing and swallowing disorders, and she’s been working with dysphagia patients for more than 20 years. If you have a question related to identifying appropriate patients, getting started with therapy, or optimizing therapy protocols for maximum patient benefit–Jackie can help guide you to greater clinical success with the SwallowSTRONG device.

During Clinical Office Hours, Jackie addresses questions in an open-forum, first-come-first served style. No sign-up or registration is required, just call in at 866.906.7447 at the scheduled time and use access number 4027141#.

Updated dates and times for the calls are available here. The link is updated periodically, so check back frequently, or follow us on Twitter for reminders and updates.

It’s just another way we support clinicians in the field.

Can’t wait for the next Clinical Office Hours, or have a general question? Check out the training videos on our website, or give us a call at 608.238.6678.

Welcome to the blog!

Welcome to the official blog site for Swallow Solutions, LLC! Our company is dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of patients with swallowing disorders. For more information on how we do that, check our company website www.swallowsolutions.com. This site will function as our blog, featuring news, updates, and stories we want to share with you! So if you’re a clinician wanting to stay up-to-date on the latest news regarding the SwallowSTRONG device, a patient or family member wanting to learn more about dysphagia, or a facility administrator looking to hear more about the economic impact of swallowing disorders, subscribe to our blog! Thanks for reading. We’re happy you’re here.