Memorial Healthcare System of Hollywood is using smartphone technology to improve outcomes for stroke patients and ultimately save lives.
FaceTime video is the fundamental tool in a new pilot program in which Memorial Healthcare System is working with Miramar Fire Rescue in Miramar, Florida, to obtain valuable patient information that enables stroke teams at Memorial Regional Hospital and Memorial Hospital West to be at the ready when stroke patients arrive.
Harnessing the features of FaceTime is the brainchild of Brijesh P. Mehta, M.D., a NeuroInterventional Surgeon at the Memorial Neuroscience Institute and Director of Stroke and Neurocritical Care, who says timing is everything, particularly when a large vessel stroke occurs.
“The longer neurons are deprived of oxygen due to a clot in the large vessels supplying blood flow to the brain, the more damage occurs,” Dr. Mehta says. “FaceTime is enabling us to evaluate patients while still in the ambulance en route to our hospital and to subsequently mobilize our teams for conducting rapid CT imaging and performing catheter-based intra-arterial treatment that has been shown to be highly effective in strokes due to large clots. This revolutionary treatment offers a much wider time window for successful outcomes than traditional clot-busting drugs that must be delivered intravenously within 4.5 hours of stroke onset and are generally only effective on small vessel blockages.”
Dr. Mehta says Memorial Healthcare System FaceTime allows video capability to detect severe deficits in stroke patients – which are strong indicators for presence of a large vessel occlusion in the brain – and to subsequently prepare the cath lab team at the receiving hospital.
“Setup time for imaging and intra-arterial treatment takes a lot of time,” Dr. Mehta says. “With the use of FaceTime video, however, we have the potential to reduce our time to treatment by as much as 45 minutes, which often times can be a lifesaver for a large artery stroke patient.”