MultiSense Communications designs and implements an innovative 24 x 7 Telestroke solution that has been installed at a number of hospitals around Lancashire & Cumbria.
Dr. Mark O’Donnell, Stroke Consultant at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Clinical Lead for the Lancashire & Cumbria Cardiac and Stroke network, has been closely involved in the development of a new Telestroke service that has been designed and implemented by MultiSense Communications Limited.
Dr. O’Donnell said “If a patient arrives in hospital with a stroke outside the normal working day, a Telestroke consultation will then be commenced. The Practitioner Cart contains a screen so the patient can see the Consultant and a camera for the Consultant to view the patient and will be placed in front of the patient’s bed. The Consultant will be able to ask the patient questions and perform an examination with the help of the local team in A&E to decide whether the new symptoms have been due to a stroke and whether Thrombolysis (the use of drugs to break up or dissolve blood clots) treatment is appropriate.
“Thrombolysis treatment can only be given to patients within four and a half hours of the onset of their stroke so time is core to this treatment and Telestroke will help improve the speed of the patient diagnosis.”
He added: “We are using this new technology to take the stroke specialists to the patient, rather than moving the patient long distances, around rural areas, to where the specialists work. In an acute stroke, time is of the essence and the sooner treatments can be provided the better.”
The Telestroke service utilises groundbreaking technology which will maximise the number of patients given effective stroke treatment and drastically reduce the number of stroke related disabilities and deaths in Lancashire and Cumbria.
Kathy Blacker, Director of the Lancashire and Cumbria Cardiac and Stroke Network, that coordinated the implementation of Telestroke, said: “The Telestroke system has been two years in the planning, as a team effort between all members of the Lancashire and Cumbria Cardiac and Stroke Network. By pooling our resources and taking advantage of new technologies, we can now ensure that every suitable stroke patient gets this fantastic treatment, wherever they are in the region and whatever time of day their stroke hits. Telestroke is a real example of what can be achieved when we all work together across geographic boundaries.”
The solution designed and implemented by MultiSense Communications Ltd. includes a practitioner cart with Polycom’s high definition telepresence technology at the core. The carts are located in the A&E departments of hospitals throughout Lancashire and Cumbria. The Consultants have Polycom’s high definition telepresence software installed on their PCs. They are able to see and speak to the patient in high definition audio and video and also observe a scan of the brain to enable them to decide whether the thrombolising drug is to be given.