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The premier resource for hospital professionals from Relias Media, the trusted source for healthcare information and continuing education.

Remote stroke consult via mobile software technology

To restore blood flow and preserve brain function, a stroke patient’s outcome is completely dependent on providing the right care within a small window of time. To overcome this obstacle, a new first-of-its-kind telediagnostic imaging support system, known as the i-Stroke SystemTM, was developed.

This new system, which was presented at 9th Annual Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) Meeting, is the first-ever mobile technology to transfer clinical and imaging information necessary to diagnose stroke, including computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and CT angiograms, plotted on a three-hour timeline to help the remote physician visualize the patient's stroke progression against the clock. The information is downloaded onto a "stroke server" installed in the hospital and includes tools to help manage the diagnostic information, such as the patient's NIH Stroke Scale score, vital to the diagnostic process.

In reporting on the use of i-Stroke at the SNIS meeting, Yuichi Murayama, MD, Director for the Center of Endovascular Surgery at Jikei University School of Medicine (JUSC) in Tokyo, Japan, and co-inventor of i-Stroke, says the system, implemented in his hospital in a pilot program in 2010, has been used in approximately 160 stroke cases. Equipped to facilitate the exchange of anonymous biographical information, as well as clinical data and imaging via any SMART phone, it has "shown adequate performance and facilitated accurate and thorough information transfer, resulting in proper diagnosis and management of all 160 stroke patients."

When considering how the technology could be applied in various hospitals around the world to expedite time to treatment, Murayama says the possibilities are endless. "There are multiple factors that play into the time equation where it concerns stroke diagnosis and treatment, including whether the patient presents at a hospital equipped to treat stroke, a physician's whereabouts at the time the patient arrives at the ER, or just the in-hospital process often associated with alerting all the specialists involved in stroke care and initiating the multi-step process required to obtain the information to make the correct decisions about treatment. This technology can help eliminate wasted time in any one of these situations for the complete benefit of the patient."