Our latest video, embedded below, shows how patients and clinicians can use the SwallowSTRONG System from Swallow Solutions to treat dysphagia.
We believe so strongly in the efficacy of the SwallowSTRONG product that we want to make it easier for more people suffering with dysphagia or difficulty swallowing to get access to the product.
That’s why we’re offering a new rental program, making SwallowSTRONG and all the benefits it brings more affordable than ever.
Patients who use the SwallowSTRONG can increase the strength of the muscles involved in the complex process of the swallow.
With the new Swallow Solutions rental program, renters can get access to the SwallowSTRONG for a security deposit of $250 and $200 a month.
Purchase a per-patient mouthpiece for $315, and it’s yours to keep.
A typical therapy course with the SwallowSTRONG lasts two months. That means that for a total investment of $715 ($250 security deposit, two months rental fee at $200/month, $315 mouthpiece), renters can improve the health and quality of life of patients with dysphagia.
As the world continues to mourn the passing of Muhammad Ali, we at the blog were thinking about the legendary boxer’s life and his long struggle with Parkinson’s disease.
Ali was known as a fighter, having gone up against the likes of Larry Holmes, George Foreman and Joe Frazier — but his greatest battle may have been Parkinson’s Disease.
Parkinson’s Disease impacts an estimated one million Americans, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, with about 60,000 new diagnoses each year.
Ali’s public bout with the disease began with a memorable moment at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, when the gold medalist lit the Olympic flame despite his badly shaking limbs.
Why are we talking about Parkinson’s Disease on a blog about dysphagia (difficulty swallowing?) Because people with Parkinson’s often find themselves suffering with dysphagia as well.
Parkinson’s impacts motor function, often manifesting through tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement and postural instability. But additional problems may display as a result of Parkinson’s — one of them being dysphagia.
If you’re suffering from dysphagia, regardless of the cause, we hope that Ali can be an inspiration to you to keep fighting.
Ali was relentless in training for his matches. He knew that regardless of the challenger he’d face in the ring, his body would be prepared.
Swallow Solutions offers an innovative product to help dysphagia patients train the muscles involved in the swallow — ultimately helping them regain the ability to swallow.
With an attitude like Ali, and the SwallowSTRONG, dysphagia patients can often times deliver a knock out blow to their swallowing problems.
If you’ve read our blog before, you’re familiar with the frustrating nature of dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing.
But the fact is, swallowing is a complex physical process, and as such, many things can go wrong. That’s why it’s important to have professionals diagnose and prepare a treatment plan.
In today’s post, we’ll break down the steps of the swallow. Be sure to check out this article on Provider for more details.
When we think of the swallow, we sometimes think of it as a fluid, continuous process. But what we think of as swallowing actually contains four distinct phases: the Oral Preparatory phase, the Oral phase, the Pharyngeal phase and the Esophageal phase.
The Oral Preparatory phase takes place when food first enters the mouth. To keep food in the mouth, the lips must possess appropriate strength. The tongue and jaw work together to hold the food in place until the next phase begins.
The Oral phase is the tongue’s time to shine. It begins anterior and posterior movement, pushing food to the back of the throat. The back of the tongue rises as food begins its trip down into the pharynx.
The Pharyngeal phase begins with the soft palate rising to meet the posterior pharyngeal wall and the larynx rising towards the base of the tongue. Openings to the trachea and larynx are covered by passive movement, and the muscles of the pharynx contract to bring the food towards the muscles at the top of the food tube (the cricopharyngeal sphincter).
The Esophageal phase involves — you guessed it — the esophagus. The cricopharyngeus muscle relaxes, allowing the food to pass into the esophagus. A quick wavelike contraction of the muscles in the esophagus pushes food down towards the stomach.
By understanding the phases of the swallow, it’s easier to see how a number of things could cause problems during it, resulting in dysphagia. If you or a loved one have difficulty swallowing, oropharyngeal strengthening with the SwallowSTRONG may be able to help.
Check out more information about Swallow Solutions here.
The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) recently published an article entitled Effects of Device-Facilitated Isometric Progressive Resistance Oropharyngeal Therapy on Swallowing and Health-Related Outcomes in Older Adults with Dysphagia.
The article discusses a effects of a study during which 56 patients with dysphagia completed lingual strengthening using the device by Swallow Solutions. It discusses the positive impact the therapy has on health outcomes, as well as significant cost-savings for facilities.
Here are the highlights:
Patients health and wellbeing were followed for up to 17 months.
Decreased pneumonia diagnoses. Incidence of pneumonia decreased 67%.
Decreased hospital admissions. Hospital admissions decreased 61%.
Patients increased lingual strength. Swallowing disorders occur in older patients due, at least in part, to weakening lingual musculature. After 8 weeks, patients were significantly stronger. As they became stronger, patients reported that they had less difficulty swallowing and improved quality of life.
They noted increased desire for food, improved mental health, improved social wellbeing, and less fatigue.
Decreased bed days, cost savings. Bed days decreased 56% resulting in overall savings of over one million dollars.
The results speak for themselves. Lingual strengthening using the Swallow Solutions device works. Learn more by visiting the Swallow Solutions website.
The full study is available here.
The final numbers are in, and December 2015 was a record breaking month for Swallow Solutions!
During that month, Swallow Solutions sold more SwallowSTRONG devices and individual mouthpieces than any other month in company history!
We’ve now helped more than 1,500 dysphagia patients alleviate their swallowing problems. The SwallowSTRONG is in use in outpatient clinics and skilled nursing facilities around the country.
We’re excited and thankful for the opportunity to help people improve their health and quality of life–and we’re just getting started.
Nearly a month into the new year, we wanted to share our excitement and thank you for taking part in it.
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.
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
We were so excited to attend this year’s ASHA Convention. It’s always so great to get out there to mingle with our wonderful colleagues in the field, but one of the things we love most is interacting with all the great speech language pathologists who are bringing life-changing dysphagia treatment to their patients.
We love this feedback because we know how much joy SLPs get out of helping their patients, but we love it even more because it proves that by teaming up with Swallow Solutions, patients are seeing improved quality of life.
Below are some real quotes we gathered from SLPs using the SwallowSTRONG. As a condition of speaking to us, we’ve removed identifying information to provide the SLPs confidentiality.
One SLP who works with a large chain Skilled Nursing Facility had this to say:
“At first I did not think SwallowSTRONG would be worth the cost, but I was wrong. Our facility saw several patients move off of altered diets to full PO within 4 weeks.“
An outpatient SLP said:
“I have been a SLP for 30 years and I have never been able to get results as fast as I have with the SwallowSTRONG.“
Another Skilled Nursing Facility SLP said:
“I had one patient who had been on thickened liquids for a year and within three weeks of using the SwallowSTRONG, the patient was on thin liquids.”
The SwallowSTRONG can bring a new level to a dysphagia patient’s therapy program.
If you’re considering the SwallowSTRONG for your facility, use the quotes above as proof that it works. You can learn more on our website, or call us for more information at (608)-238-6678.
If you’d like to share your SwallowSTRONG success story with us, submit using the ‘Share Your Story‘ portion of our website.
Have you ever had a bad cold, or an allergy that caused your nose to be so stuffed up that it became hard to breathe? In those moments, have you considered how nice it is to be able to breathe without effort or concentration?
I imagine that that’s what it’s like for people who have swallowing disorders, or dysphagia. Swallowing is a function you don’t think much about until you can’t do it anymore, and then it becomes a preoccupation that makes you miserable.
To me, one of the most profound things about dysphagia is how it impacts quality of life.
On the blog, we talk a lot about causes for dysphagia (stroke, head and neck cancer, traumatic brain injury, sarcopenia, etc.), and methods to treat it (have you heard of the SwallowSTRONG?) We talk about the serious health complications dysphagia can cause (aspiration pneumonia, malnutrition, etc.)
What we haven’t talked much about what having a swallowing disorder might be like. So with this post, I want to engage your empathy: if you don’t have a swallowing disorder, think about what it would be like if you did. If you are suffering from dysphagia, understand that the goal of this post is to help people to understand how serious it is to not be able to swallow.
Food and drink are such major parts of our social lives as human beings. Nearly every gathering among people, from coffee dates to birthday parties to graduations to religious services involves sharing food or drink with people you love. When you’re unable to swallow, you can’t enjoy any of these functions in the way you did before.
The extra effort and time it takes for each swallow causes embarrassment and stress. You become so preoccupied by your difficulty with swallowing that you can’t enjoy your conversations.
It’s no wonder that swallowing disorders can cause people to withdraw socially. We humans are social animals, and we need social interaction to achieve a high quality of life.
Obviously, we at Swallow Solutions want the best possible health outcomes for our patients. But a real driving force to what we do is improving patient quality of life.
We’re so proud and happy to have helped patients who couldn’t swallow regain the ability to swallow again. It’s our hope that after reading this post, you understand just why that is.