App aiming to speed up stroke help

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A NEW smartphone app has been developed by Edinburgh University scientists to help stroke victims get to hospital as quickly as possible.

The FAST test app prompts people to check for the key symptoms of stroke, asking users if the person affected can smile, if they can lift both arms, and if their speech is slurred.

If all symptoms are present, the user is told to call 999. The app also provides information about strokes, and an option to speak to specialist staff.

Its development was funded by Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS). The charity’s chief executive David Clark said: “We hope that our app will help people to recognise the symptoms of stroke, and guide them through the process of calling for help. In a typical stroke, you lose two million brain cells a minute so it is vital that you’re treated quickly.”

The app is available on iPhones and Android by searching for “CHSS FAST”.