IOPI Medical Q1 2022 Newsletter - Hope You Had a Happy Holiday Season!
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“They who sing through the summer must dance in the winter

- Italian Proverb

We’re not so sure about the dancing bit when Mother Nature insists on repeated snow and ice showers. We did, however, manage to take a bit of time out to spend some of the snowy days with loved ones. We hope the holidays also gave you whatever it was you needed to start the new year on solid ground. This quarter, we are back with information on March’s online ASHA convention, Controversies and Consensus in Dysphagia Management, helpful resources and articles, and specific articles on the hyoid bone and the correlation between it and penetration and aspiration.

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.


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.

Amman is our Production Assistant and supports our Biomedical Engineer in inspection, post-production, and delivery of our products.

A US Air Force veteran of 8 years, Amman worked on the F-16 Fighter Jet’s weapon system and excels at furthering his abilities here at IOPI.

When he is not working, he enjoys rebuilding his beloved 1990 Nissan Silvia, a vehicle he imported from Japan while deployed there. His keen eye and attention to detail makes him a valued behind the scenes leader who ensures production events are executed smoothly and efficiently.

Jason is our Account Executive. If you have ever called us, you have probably spoken with him!

Jason helps our customers determine how best to meet their requirements, from providing quotes to product acquisition, and works on a variety of projects in support of the growth of IOPI Medical.

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, it’s no surprise that Jason wanted to join his family’s business and work with his mother, Tara, his wife, Harley, and later, his stepbrother, Kellan. When not in the office, Jason can be found outside with his Chihuahua-Pug mix JoJo, strumming his guitar, or watching one of Gordon Ramsay’s many shows. If you have any product-related questions, he is always happy to help!

Ed Bice is our Clinical Consultant here at IOPI Medical. With his experience in various settings, including acute care, outpatient, home health, and skilled nursing, we are extremely lucky to have him.

Ed has held various leadership positions such as a Regional Manager, Vice President of Clinical Services, and Chief Operating Officer. Ed has been a guest on national and international dysphagia podcasts and has publications in peer-reviewed journals. He has been an invited speaker for universities, state, and national conventions on various topics in dysphagia.

When not working, Ed enjoys gardening and spending time with his four dogs and amazing granddaughter. If you need help with a research article, a patient consultation, or clinical applications of the IOPI, Ed is happy to help!

Be sure to register for the next ASHA online conference, running from March 9th through the 21st. Among the stellar line-up of presenters is our very own clinical consultant, Ed Bice.

In this online conference, different perspectives on critical issues in dysphagia management will be presented. Hear different perspectives, evidence, and preferred practices for person-centered care. Learn to incorporate all three aspects of evidence-based practice—emerging research, clinical expertise, and patient/family perspectives—in your decision-making. Walk away with the essential information you need to maximize patient outcomes.


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.


A while ago, we developed a brief feedback survey to learn how we can better serve our customers. To those of you who have already completed the survey, thank you! We greatly appreciate your insight into helping us offer the best service and products possible.

We are always looking for ways to improve. If you are interested in providing your feedback, please click the button below to take our one-minute survey.

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 Live dates for January, February, and March 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. We also offer an On-Demand version of the same webinar, as well as one for Advocacy for IOPI Products in Your Dysphagia Program.

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

Article Spotlight!

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Dysphagia: What Have We Learned So Far and What Do We Still Need to Investigate?

Mancopes, R., Rosa, F. B. d., Tomasi, L. L., Pasqualoto, A. S., & Steele, C. M. (2021)

The narrative review presents evidence indicating that awareness of dysphagia and patient-reported symptoms of dysphagia are rare in individuals with stable COPD. However, evidence suggests that some individuals with COPD experience dysphagia. Several studies suggest that patients with stable COPD have altered swallowing physiology on videofluoroscopic exams, including silent aspiration. The authors discuss the possibility that altered laryngeal sensation and respiratory–swallow discoordination may have a role in dysphagia in people with COPD. The article suggests assessment tasks that have the highest sensitivity for detecting penetration–aspiration and discuss knowledge gaps requiring further research.

If you are interested in reading this article, please click the button below.

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 the HYOID BONE and have provided you with three relevant pieces.

The hyoid bone gets a lot of attention during fluoroscopic imaging. Is it merited? These articles examine the correlation between penetration and aspiration and the hyoid.

The articles below are 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.

Determining the Relationship Between Hyoid Bone Kinematics and Airway Protection in Swallowing. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Smaoui, S., Peladeau-Pigeon, M., & Steele, C. M.

The investigation examined six thin liquid swallows of 305 patients per participant and obtained measures of hyoid movement (peak position, speed) and laryngeal vestibule closure (LVC) (complete/incomplete, timing, duration). The values were coded as either typical or atypical relative to healthy reference data. Significant associations were found between penetration–aspiration and incomplete LVC, prolonged time-to-most-complete LVC, short LVC duration, reduced anterior hyoid peak position, and reduced hyoid speed. In patients who had complete laryngeal vestibule closure, the only significant predictor of airway invasion was prolonged time-to-most-complete-LVC. The investigators concluded that although reduced anterior hyoid peak position and speed are associated with penetration–aspiration on thin liquids, the measures do not independently account for penetration–aspiration when considered in conjunction with measures of LVC. They suggest that when identifying mechanisms explaining penetration–aspiration, clinicians should focus on the completeness and timeliness of LVC.

The Prediction of Risk of Penetration–Aspiration Via Hyoid Bone Displacement Features

Zhang Z., Perera S., Donohue C., Kurosu A., Mahoney A. S., Coyle J. L., Sejdić E.

Hyoid displacement from 1433 swallows was analyzed to determine which aspects predicted penetration and aspiration risk according to the Penetration–Aspiration Scale. A generalized estimating equation incorporating components of hyoid bone displacement and variables shown to impact penetration and aspiration was used to evaluate the risk. The results indicate that anterior-horizontal hyoid bone displacement was the only aspect of hyoid bone displacement predictive of penetration and aspiration risk.

Hyoid bone displacement as parameter for swallowing impairment in patients treated for advanced head and neck cancer

Kraaijenga S. A., van der Molen L., Heemsbergen W. D., Remmerswaal G. B., Hilgers F. J., van den Brekel M. W. M.

The study reports on temporal and kinematic measures of hyoid displacement and their correlation with swallowing impairment in 25 head and neck cancer patients. The subjects had a videofluoroscopic study at baseline, 10-weeks, and 1-year post-treatment. The studies were independently reviewed frame-by-frame by two clinicians to assess temporal and kinematic measures of the hyoid. Patients with reduced superior hyoid displacement perceived significantly more swallowing impairment. No correlation was found between delayed or reduced hyoid excursion and aspiration or residue. Hyoid displacement is subject to variability from several sources. Based on the results, the authors concluded that assessing hyoid movement is not valuable for clinical use in head and neck cancer patients with swallowing difficulties.

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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