IOPI Medical Q4 2021 Newsletter - Back From Summer Break!
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Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree

"Fall, leaves, fall" by Emily Bronte

After a bit of a break over summer, we are back refreshed and rejuvenated. We hope summer also gave you the time you needed to restore. This quarter we are back better than ever with information on November’s ASHA convention, Rising United, where you can find our very own Ed Bice (who has the honor of speaking at the convention), helpful resources and articles, and specific articles on Systematic Reviews.

Don’t forget to visit our always-evolving website. We are continuing to make improvements, giving you the opportunity to interact with our IOPI staff, Patient Advocacy tools, and Covid-19 resources. You can also follow us on Twitter (@iopimedical) & Facebook (IOPI Medical LLC) for the latest news and information.


November 15th will mark 20 years since our founder, Dr. Erich Luschei, established IOPI Medical. Together Dr. Luschei and his wife, Nancy, navigated the medical device landscape, and in 2008 their daughter, Dr. Tara Mythen, joined as CEO and took the company global. Dr. Mythen is now President and CEO and has guided IOPI Medical across North America and into more than 40 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.


IOPIians are a unique bunch, passionate about what we do and driven to provide you with the absolute best service and products possible. We thought it was about time you got to know the people who work so hard for you. Each newsletter will give you an opportunity to meet some of us.

Meet Meghan! She is our Biomedical Engineer & Quality Manager. She came to us after graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology & since then has taken on leadership roles in quality management, regulatory affairs, and product development meaning there certainly is never a dull moment for her!

Originally from New England, Meghan has fallen in love with the mountain views & abundance of coffee in the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not working, she likes to explore the greater Seattle area with her partner & their rescued pit bull mix; her favorite destinations are parks & craft breweries.

If ever you have a technical question or concern, reach out to Meghan! She is always happy to help.

If you’ve ever given us a call to place an order, you most likely did so with Harley! She is our Office Manager and Senior Customer Service Representative.

A Washington local, Harley loves it here rain or shine. When not in the office, she can be found hanging out with her rescue chug Jojo (that’s him with his favorite toy) or taking care of her many plants.

We’d also like you to meet our newest team member, Caitlin Deveraux. Caitlin is IOPI Medical’s Regulatory Specialist. She ensures that IOPI products comply with medical device regulations in established and new markets. Along with the rest of the IOPI Medical team, she is dedicated to delivering consistently safe and effective products that improve patients’ quality of life.

Caitlin’s attention to detail and talent for organizing information are valuable assets in the evolving world of medical device regulations. She brings 15 years of medical device experience to IOPI, with particular emphasis on design controls and medical writing.

Outside of work hours, Caitlin enjoys spending time with her children, gardening, reading dystopian sci-fi, and bingeing the latest TV show on Netflix.

Over the years we have attended several conferences and meetings where we often hear story after story of just how much the IOPI affects people’s lives. Quite honestly, these stories remind us why we do what we do. Of course, in the time of COVID, we are no longer attending in-person events and are sorely lacking in our feel-good stories. We were hoping that you might be able to help.

If you have patient stories that you wouldn’t mind sharing, we would really appreciate it. You can share as little or as much information as you and your patient are comfortable with. Please send us an email at (you can click the button below), or even better, give us a call at 425-549-0139!

Not only will these stories be wonderful to share in future newsletters and social media, but they would also be a great morale boost for our team.


In order to best serve our customers, we have developed a very brief feedback survey. It includes rating our products and services and offers the ability to provide your specific input.

We are always looking for ways to improve. We would greatly appreciate it if you could take our one-minute survey. If you are interested, please click the button below.

Don't Forget to Use Your Resources

To help you achieve the greatest level of success for your patients, we continue to provide you with the necessary Purchasing Advocacy tools, as well as clinical support.

Our Purchasing Advocacy tools can be found on our Medical Professionals page. Here, you will find our IOPI Dysphagia Cost Tool as well as a ready to use Benefits of IOPI for Dysphagia PowerPoint. Just populate it with information specific to your patient’s needs.

You also have clinical support at your fingertips. Our clinical consultant, Ed M. Bice, M.Ed., CCC-SLP is available to mentor through the advocacy process to assess and report the estimated cost of dysphagia to your facility. You can reach Ed for a patient consultation or clinical question by calling (844)-844-IOPI or emailing

To access our IOPI Dysphagia Cost Tool, the Benefits of IOPI for Dysphagia PowerPoint and tips on advocating for your patients, please click the button below.


As many of you have already experienced, our webinars are another fantastic resource. We currently have dates through the end of the year for IOPI 101: Introduction to the IOPI System, a 1-hour webinar that introduces you to the IOPI Pro and IOPI Trainer, demonstrates the standard methods for measuring tongue and lip strength and endurance, and explains how to use this system for biofeedback during exercise.

If you are interested in registering for a webinar or checking our schedule, please click the button below.


IOPI Medical will not be participating in ASHA 2021 / RISING UNITED, ASHA’s hybrid convention, which takes place November 18-20 in Washington D.C. However, our very own clinical consultant, Ed M. Bice M.Ed., CCC-SLP, will be a presenting author on the topic of adult swallowing. If you are lucky enough to be attending ASHA this year, please go see his session “Reframing the Purpose of Dysphagia Care: Putting Patients Front and Center” on Saturday, November 20th, from 11AM-12PM.

If you are interested in registering for ASHA 2021 / RISING UNITED, you can click the button below.

Article Spotlight!

Survey of Clinician Perspectives and Practices Regarding Swallowing-Related Fatigue

Brates, D., Namasivayam-MacDonald, A., Molfenter, S.

The authors surveyed speech-language pathologists who evaluate and treat adult dysphagia concerning the definition and assessment of fatigue in swallowing. Three hundred eleven individuals completed the survey. The majority (86%) expressed that fatigue may be a concern for individuals with swallowing impairment. Wide variability exists in how clinicians define and evaluate swallowing-related fatigue. Explicit fatigue evaluation was reported by 45% of respondents during a clinical swallow evaluation, by 38% during videofluoroscopic swallowing study, and by 53% during flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing. The most common method for identifying fatigue was noting general declines in performance over time.  While 7% of respondents reported knowledge of a standardized method for assessing fatigue, 97% expressed interest in incorporating a standardized method. Although most clinicians believe fatigue is an essential factor in the assessment of swallowing, wide variability exists in how it is defined and assessed.

Articles Hot off the Press

With 18 years of research using the IOPI, it can be difficult to choose only a few articles to share with you. To narrow the field a bit, we choose a specific topic to focus on in each newsletter. For this quarter, we have chosen articles related specifically to SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS and have provided you with three relevant pieces.

This is only a small fraction of the number of IOPI-related studies in general. You can find many more, covering a variety of topics, by visiting: or clicking the button at the end of the section.

A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Iowa Oral Performance Instrument Measures in Persons with Parkinson's Disease Compared to Healthy Adults

Pitts L., Cox A., Morales S., Tiffany H.

Using IOPI to measure tongue strength and endurance may have diagnostic utility when conducting a clinical swallowing evaluation for people with Parkinson's disease (PD). The objective of the systematic review was to analyze the existing literature comparing IOPI values of tongue strength and endurance between age- and sex-match pairs of people with Parkinson's disease and healthy adults. A search identified five peer-reviewed articles published between 1990–2019 that met the inclusion criteria. A meta-analysis of group means indicated reduced tongue strength in individuals with Parkinson's across 106 matched pairs. There was a trend for reduced endurance across 41 matched pairs. Participant-level analyses found reduced anterior tongue pressure and endurance to be associated with PD. Tongue strength, but not endurance inversely correlated with disease stage when controlling for age. Reduced anterior tongue strength may be apparent as early as Hoehn and Yahr stage 2, with continual decline as the disease progresses. Further investigation is needed concerning the relationship among tongue strength, tongue endurance, and swallowing physiology.

Variability in tongue pressure among elderly and young healthy cohorts: A systematic review and meta‐analysis

Arakawa, I., Igarashi, K., Imamura, Y., Müller, F., Abou-Ayash, S., Schimmel, M.

The systematic review and meta-analysis analyzed the variability in tongue pressure among healthy individuals aged 60 years and older versus those less than 60 years. The authors also examined the variability related to the influence of gender and the type of measuring device (IOPI and JMS). Sixty-eight studies met the inclusion criteria. The studies included 13,773 subjects. A meta-analysis revealed tongue pressure was significantly higher in subjects 60  years of age and less when compared to those greater than or equal to 60. No significant sex differences by sex were found in the older group. However, in the younger subjects, a significant sex difference was observed. Tongue pressure values ascertained by the IOPI are significantly higher than those obtained with the JMS.

Critically Appraising Systematic Reviews in the Field of Speech-Language Pathology: A How-to Guide for Clinician Readers

Donahue, C., Carnaby, G., and Garand, K.

Systematic reviews are regarded as the highest level of research evidence for implementing evidence-based practice. Systematic reviews synthesize research findings from a group of research studies and often identify methodological weaknesses and biases from the studies included. They identify gaps in the current literature that may assist in illuminating areas for future research. Unfortunately, education concerning how to appraise systematic reviews is uncommon. This article provides clinicians assists clinicians in developing critical appraisal skills to appraise research and translate it to patient care.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything the IOPI team can assist you with.

We are always happy to help!

Phone: (425)-549-0139


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