IOPI Medical Q2 2022 Newsletter - April Showers Bring May Flowers!
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“A flower blossoms for its own joy

- Oscar Wilde

We’ve had a wet and windy spring so far here in the Seattle area, but temps are climbing, and the cherry blossoms are out. Who doesn’t love cherry blossoms! We hope that you too are finding a bit of restore and renew in the beauty of spring. This quarter we are back with information on the NFOSD “Open House” Exhibit night as a part of Dysphagia awareness during the month of June, helpful resources and articles, and specific articles on sarcopenic dysphagia and the importance of proper assessment and management.

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.

For those of you who have not met her, Tara is our CEO & President and fearless leader! Tara’s vision and passion for IOPI have led to our continual growth as a company as well as our always growing global presence. Her enthusiasm for what we do and how we help people, is unparalleled.

When she is not working, Tara enjoys spending time with her family and her mini-Aussie, Chili Bean. She also loves taking part in anything active, particularly escaping to the mountains.

Ara is our Purchasing Agent. If you are one of our wonderful suppliers, you have likely spoken with her. She rejoined the work force almost 2 years ago after a long break to raise her daughter.

She and her family enjoy road trips around the PNW, vintage records, bookstores, Harry Potter marathons, coffee shops, and the beach!

Kellan is our Head of User Experience. He is responsible for ensuring that our next generation of products is engaging and accessible for as many patients as possible. With a background in Game Design and VR development, he is always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to improve how patients use our products.

Apart from work, Kellan enjoys contributing to open-source projects and exploring the Pacific Northwest.
Patient Stories

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 June and July 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.

Dysphagia Awareness Month: June 2022

As you may know, June is Dysphagia Awareness Month. The NFOSD are in the process of planning their awareness events and have invited IOPI Medical to participate in an "Open House Exhibit Night" on Thursday, June 9th from 4-5 pm Pacific.

This is a new event and registration details aren’t available just yet, but please keep an eye out for them on the NFOSD website.

Article Spotlight!

Orofacial Muscle Strength across the Dysarthrias

Clark HM, Duffy JR, Strand EA, Hanley H, Solomon NP. Orofacial Muscle Strength across the Dysarthrias. Brain Sci. 2022 Mar 10;12(3):365. doi: 10.3390/brainsci12030365. PMID: 35326321; PMCID: PMC8946724.

The study compared orofacial muscle strength between normal and dysarthric speakers and across types of dysarthria using the IOPI. Additionally, the authors examined correlations between orofacial muscle strength and dysarthria severity. The study found that maximum pressures were lower for speakers with mixed spastic–flaccid dysarthria for all tongue and lip measures and for speakers with flaccid or spastic dysarthria for anterior tongue elevation and lips. Compared to normal subjects, anterior tongue elevation and cheek compression were lower in the hypokinetic group. Maximum pressures did not differ significantly between normal subjects and individuals with ataxic dysarthria. Correlations between severity of dysarthria and decreased strength were overall weak but were stronger in the dysarthria groups with more pronounced orofacial weakness. The results suggest that orofacial weakness accompanies flaccid and spastic dysarthria but not ataxic dysarthria.

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 sarcopenic dysphagia and have provided you with three relevant pieces.

“Sarcopenic dysphagia” is a swallowing impairment caused by the loss of mass and strength of swallowing muscles in aging. Sarcopenia and dysphagia are conditions associated with frailty and their coexistence could lead to dehydration and malnutrition. Proper assessment and management of sarcopenic dysphagia is important to improving the health and quality of life in the aging population. This newsletter highlights a few recent articles on the topic.

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.

Sarcopenic Dysphagia, Malnutrition, and Oral Frailty in Elderly: A Comprehensive Review

de Sire A, Ferrillo M, Lippi L, Agostini F, de Sire R, Ferrara PE, Raguso G, Riso S, Roccuzzo A, Ronconi G, Invernizzi M, Migliario M. Sarcopenic Dysphagia, Malnutrition, and Oral Frailty in Elderly: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients. 2022 Feb 25;14(5):982. doi: 10.3390/nu14050982. PMID: 35267957; PMCID: PMC8912303

Frailty is a prevalent condition in the aged population and is considered a serious public health issue. It correlates to fractures, hospitalization, and mortality. Additionally, sarcopenia and dysphagia are conditions associated with frailty. The aging process is also related to poor oral health due to impairment of the immune system, and physical and cognitive impairments may indirectly impact the ability to maintain adequate oral hygiene. This may decrease nutritional intake, causing malnutrition leading to frailty. The review aimed to investigate the correlation among sarcopenic dysphagia, malnutrition, and oral frailty and propose a framework for the comprehensive and effective management of elderly frail subjects.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Sarcopenic Dysphagia: A Scoping Review

Wakabayashi H, Kishima M, Itoda M, Fujishima I, Kunieda K, Ohno T, Shigematsu T, Oshima F, Mori T, Ogawa N, Nishioka S, Yamada M, Ogawa S; Japanese Working Group on Sarcopenic Dysphagia. Diagnosis and Treatment of Sarcopenic Dysphagia: A Scoping Review. Dysphagia. 2021 Jun;36(3):523-531. doi: 10.1007/s00455-021-10266-8. Epub 2021 Feb 23. PMID: 33620563

The scoping review explores current information concerning the diagnosis and treatment of sarcopenic dysphagia and suggests the research needed to fill in the current knowledge gaps. The authors found that a reliable and validated diagnostic algorithm was the most widely used diagnostic method for sarcopenic dysphagia. To date, only case reports have been published for the treatment of patients with sarcopenic dysphagia. The case studies suggest that an interdisciplinary rehabilitation approach, including nutritional intervention, may be necessary to treat patients with sarcopenic dysphagia.

Effect of low tongue pressure on nutritional status and improvement of swallowing function in sarcopenic dysphagia

Shimizu A, Fujishima I, Maeda K, Wakabayashi H, Nishioka S, Ohno T, Nomoto A, Shigematsu T, Kayashita J; Japanese Working Group on Sarcopenic Dysphagia. Effect of low tongue pressure on nutritional status and improvement of swallowing function in sarcopenic dysphagia. Nutrition. 2021 Oct; 90:111295. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2021.111295. Epub 2021 Apr 28. PMID: 34107332

The study evaluated the effect of low tongue pressure on swallowing function in eighty-three participants with probable sarcopenic dysphagia. The investigators found that the severity of malnutrition was a contributing factor to probable sarcopenic dysphagia. Probable sarcopenic dysphagia was negatively associated with the amount of change in the Food Intake Level Scale score. The study suggests that probable sarcopenic dysphagia with low tongue pressure is associated with poorer improvement in swallowing function and severe malnutrition and that those with sarcopenic dysphagia may require aggressive nutritional intervention.

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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