Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK live with swallowing difficulties, and have a reduced quality of life because of this. Common workarounds are modified diets: thickened drinks and puréed foods, or being tube-fed nasally or directly into the stomach.
IQoro is an innovative neuromuscular training device (pictured) that is usually self-administered by the patient, and that is currently in use by thousands of patients across Europe - with the majority in Sweden and the UK. In one scientific study, a group of stroke patients that had experienced swallowing difficulties for up to ten years were treated with IQoro. After 5 to 8 weeks’ treatment, 97% had improved their swallow, and 63% regained a normal swallowing ability.
Now, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have recognised IQoro as a treatment alternative for stroke survivors and others who have difficulties with swallowing (dysphagia). They note that IQoro is an innovative treatment, with no similar technologies currently recommended, and that the intended place in therapy would be in addition to standard speech and language therapy in people with stroke-related dysphagia. We expect that this will lead to an increase in the adoption of IQoro within the NHS.
The training method takes just 1½ minutes per day and can be performed by the patient alone at home or with assistance, for example in the hospital or residential care setting.