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Telemedicine

Telly
Jason Todd with the ReSET Telemedicine system

Rural territories in the United States continue to experience a shortage of neurologists and physicians experienced in the use of "clot-busting" medications. Fortunately, new technologies using high quality video and voice information in both directions from the stroke specialist to the location of the patient experiencing stroke symptoms allows safe and reliable diagnosis and treatment with tPA. Teleradiology – the remote review of brain scan images – is an important part of this decision-making.

Neurologists are 10 times more likely to make the correct treatment decision when using telemedicine and the use of telemedicine increases the use of and decreases the time to starting stroke treatment. The use of Telemedicine is now part of the stroke management guidelines.

TIME IS BRAIN

Telemedicine was already used in Parkview hospitals to assist in the management of intensive care patients. The Fort Wayne Neurological Center (FWNC) and Parkview Hospital started providing remote stroke consultation and treatment at the Parkview community hospitals in March of 2007 using the InTouch RP-7 robots.

RP-7 robot
InTouch RP-7 robot

While this approach was very effective, it quickly became apparent that it was difficult to convince regional hospitals to participate because of the high cost of these robots.

In order to expand the availability of stroke telemedicine, Jason Todd from the Parkview IT department and former FWNC NeuroInterventionalist, Dr. Nils Mueller, designed a more cost-effective, non-commercial Telemedicine system called ReSET (Remote Stroke Evaluation Tool). With this tool, the physicians of the FWNC have been able to offer remote stroke treatment at all hospitals participating in the StrokeCareNow Network, thereby greatly improving stroke patients' access to effective treatment

This technology and the close cooperation of the hospitals brokered by the network also helps us to quickly identify patients who may benefit from treatment options beyond the intravenous thrombolysis available in their regional hospital, and to transfer them efficiently to Fort Wayne for intra-arterial stroke therapy and cutting-edge research protocols.