Role of Telemedicine in Prehospital Stroke Care

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Curr Cardiol Rep. 2021 May 10;23(6):71. doi: 10.1007/s11886-021-01473-8.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To summarize evidence for the feasibility and the efficacy of mobile stroke units (MSUs) and telemedicine in the field to reduce time delays in offering acute stroke interventions.

RECENT FINDINGS: A mobile stroke unit is a modified ambulance and includes sophisticated equipment, either trained personnel on board, or connection with skilled physicians via telemedicine. Stroke assessment and treatment agreeability between the on board and remote neurologist is high in MSUs. MSUs are the promising option to reduce stroke symptom onset to treatment time; telemedicine platform has a satisfactory audiovisual quality, high inter-rater reliability for remote stroke symptom assessment, diagnosis, and decision to treat. Use of MSU also avoids the need for inter-hospital transfers. MSUs improve prehospital stroke care and reduce delays in access to intravenous thrombolytic and mechanical thrombectomy in selective markets. Advancement in telecommunication and modern technology has the potential to make MSU telemedicine-aided management more cost-effective. Further research is needed before its widespread implementation.

PMID:33970356 | DOI:10.1007/s11886-021-01473-8