Researchers in studying the effectiveness of telemedicine programs in Oregon found that stroke coverage was pushed into previously uncovered less populated areas and expanded stroke coverage by approximately 40 percent. The results were found in a new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania studying telemedicine programs
Senior study author Brendan Carr, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Surgery & Epidemiology at the School of Medicine, said the study shows that by employing telemedical systems in concert with in-person care, nearly 80 percent of residents had access to expert stroke care within one hour.
The study evaluated all the hospitals in Oregon, finding that 42 percent of the population could reach a stroke center in person within 60 minutes, 76 percent had telemedicial access, 40 percent had access to both, and 20 percent did not have access to stroke care within an hour.
Researchers noted that in-person stroke care was clustered in urban areas, and while telestroke care was also available in urban centers, it was able to reach less populated areas that had low rates of uninsured.
Penn Medicine is using telemedicine to extend stroke care to patients throughout the region through the Penn NeuroRescue program which uses telemedicine systems to bring expert consultations 24/7 to hospitals in distant locales and transfers those persons who need surgery and/or specialized neurointensive critical care to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
The Penn Medicine Neuroscience Center’s team of experts from neurology, radiology, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, emergency medicine, and nursing provides evidence-based care at the right level and at the right time, through the remote use of telemedicine plus onsite treatment is provided at affiliated primary stroke centers.