California Study Builds Case for Telemedicine Use in Stroke Treatment
Ninety-eight percent of stroke diagnoses made using a telemedicine consult were correct, compared with 82% in cases diagnosed via a telephone consultation, according to a new study by researchers at UC-San Diego, the North County Times reports (Fikes, North County Times, 8/4).
Four isolated sites in California participated in the study, which involved 222 patients who were randomly assigned to undergo either a telemedicine consultation or a phone consult (Health Day/Washington Post, 8/3).
The Stroke Doc program uses a broadband Internet connection and Internet video technology to let stroke specialists observe potential stroke patients to determine whether the drug tPA should be administered to help dissolve clots that cause strokes.
The study was halted early because of the strong results in favor of telemedicine, according to Brett Meyer, co-director of the UCSD Medical Center Stroke Center.
The study was published in the Aug. 2 online issue of the journal Lancet Neurology (North County Times, 8/4).