New app to help detect ‘ticking time bomb in your head’

14 Nov, 2013
New app to help detect ‘ticking time bomb in your head’
The Stroke Riskometer calculates your % risk of suffering a stroke over 10 and 5 years.

A new app developed by an AUT researcher aims to reduce the incidences of stroke and save lives all over the world.

Brought to market by AUT Enterprises Ltd – the technology transfer office of AUT University– the Stroke Riskometer assesses the chance of suffering a stroke using a number of health and lifestyle factors.

The result is presented as a percentage chance of suffering a stroke in the next five and ten years and compared with someone of the same age and sex without contributing risk factors, providing a relative risk of having a stroke for the person concerned.

The Stroke Riskometer is the brainchild of Professor Valery Feigin from AUT’s National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences.

The Stroke Riskometer is an easy and reliable tool to assess the risk and motivate users to make positive changes to their lifestyle says Professor Feigin.

“As people make good choices like exercising more, drinking less alcohol and reducing stress, they can check what impact it has on their risk of suffering a stroke. It positively re-enforces the messages from their health professionals.

“Stroke is much easier to prevent than treat. We do not need to wait until stroke strikes, we need to act now and take control of our health. By making these positive changes people are likely to reduce the chance of suffering other diseases like heart attack, dementia and cancers,” says Professor Feigin.

“This is a new paradigm in stroke education. Recognising that we all have a risk of suffering a stroke and everyone, rather than only those at high risk, should reduce their risk factors. Even those at low risk can significantly reduce their risk of having a stroke reducing their risk factors” he adds.

Risk factors are entered into the app which calculates their risk of suffering a stroke using an algorithm developed from the world-renowned Framingham Heart Study using risk factors used by leading experts around the world.

In addition to the medical risk factors included in the Framingham stroke risk algorithm, the Stroke Riskometer takes into account diet, physical inactivity, alcohol, stress, family history of stroke or heart attack, and ethnicity, thus allowing more accurate estimate of the risk.

AUT graduates from Seamonkey Media were engaged by Professor Feigin to develop the application for android and Apple devices.

The professional version – the Stroke Riskometer Pro - has added information on how a user can reduce their chance of having a stroke and heart attack, which includes video clips from experts. Proceeds from this version of the app will go towards research and education.

Users can also monitor the change in their risk of suffering a stroke to determine the impact of risk factor modification on the risk of stroke.


The free version of the Stroke Riskometer has been endorsed by the World Stroke Organization, the world’s leading international organisation in the fight against stroke.

“The great advantage of the Stroke Riskometer is that it allows a person to calculate their risk of stroke within the next 5-10 years. Armed with this information, an individual can take action, with the help of their doctor, to reduce their risk of having a stroke or a heart attack,” says Professor Stephen Davis, President, World Stroke Organization.

“The Stroke Riskometer Pro should be of interest to all adults, particularly those with a personal or family history of stroke or heart disease, who want to know their stroke risk and how to reduce it,” says Alan Barber, Neurological Foundation of New Zealand Professor of Clinical Neurology and Director, Auckland City Hospital Stroke Service.

The Stroke Riskometer is available on Apple App and Google Play stores for the android version.

Apple Store:

Google play:

Background and statistics

Over 9,000 Kiwis suffer a stroke every year. Of those that suffer a stroke, 2,700 will die soon after and 5,000 will require assistance in their everyday activities.

  • Worldwide one person every two seconds suffers a stroke
  • 16% of the population worldwide will suffer a stroke in their lifetime
  • Every four seconds in the world someone dies as a result of stroke
  • Stroke is the third leading cause of death in New Zealand
  • Up to 90% of strokes are preventable if the risk factors are managed appropriately


Communications advisor
Scott Winton 0212428669