Friday, May 13, 2011

Needed stroke care delivered via robot

This is Stroke Awareness Month, and one issue is the need for stroke care offered to all who need it, no matter where. However, specially trained neurologists are, sadly, not everywhere. One way to combat that challenge is from Washington State.

Robot helper allows for real-time communication to save stroke victims:
Hospitals in outlying areas, such as Ocean Beach Hospital, do not  have a neurologist on staff who could make an assessment within this critical window, and that's where the telestroke robot comes in.

The robot allows neurologists to beam in live to the emergency  department to perform real-time examinations and evaluations of stroke victims. With the remote-controlled robot, equipped with cameras and microphones, consulting doctors can review charts, patient records, diagnostic images such as CAT scans and talk directly to ED physicians, the patient and the patient's family.

"Basically, it's just like having the neurologist right in the  room," said Valerie Mays, Providence's telestroke program coordinator.

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