Stroke telemedicine, also called "telestroke," is like FaceTime or Skype, but instead of communicating with friends and family, it's connecting emergency patients with neurologists to determine if the patient is having a stroke. And the technology now is being extended from emergency departments into emergency medical vehicles.
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Telestroke uses audio and visual technology to connect emergency room patients with stroke specialists. And now telestroke is going mobile inside ambulances.
"The cool part about that is that Mayo physicians will be [in] a moving ambulance to look at the patient while they're traveling to our Mayo hospital," says Dr. David Freeman, a Mayo Clinic neurologist.
The time saved with telestroke often is vital to prevent major neurological disabilities and can be a matter of life and death.
"We measured previously that saved 7½ minutes. And we know that's 1.9 million brain cells per minute," says Dr. Freeman. "So you can do the math about how many millions of brain cells that can potentially save."
Having a prompt telestroke evaluation and assessment increases the possibility of administering treatment in time to reduce stroke-related disabilities.
"Time is brain," says Dr. Freeman. "We continue to advance the science and try to heal the sick."