From January of 2004, through August of 2007, an experiment was conducted which compared the results of consultations via telephone versus telemedicine (real-time, two-way audio and video, and digital imaging and communications in medicine [DICOM] interpretation) to assess a patients suitability for treatment with thrombolytics. The measure of the outcome was based on whether the decision to give thrombolytic treatment was correct.
“When a person suffers a stroke, time is of the essence,” says Brett Meyer, a UCSD professor who led the study.
Clot busting drugs, like alteplase, should be given within three hours of a stroke, but deciding which patients actually need that medication is tricky.
If a stroke specialist can see and hear their patient, zoom in on their pupils and facial muscles, and ask them questions, they are far more likely to offer the right advice. In fact, experts who examined patients with the webcam made the right decision 98 percent of the time, compared to 82 percent when they simply talked to the emergency room doctor by phone.
You can read the full article at The Lancet Neurology.