Blog How Telemedicine Is Transforming Stroke Treatment

How Telemedicine Is Transforming Stroke Treatment

Telemedicine became a big thing during the pandemic. Although the concept already existed before 2020, during the world’s lockdowns people everywhere suddenly found themselves unable to travel or even leave their homes in many cases. Aside from the dangers of Covid itself, people were also facing untold numbers of other problems that needed urgent treatment. Beyond that, hospitals were often full of Covid patients, so those needing to get in for other reasons often found themselves sidelined and forced to wait – sometimes until it was too late.

The world’s attention then started shifting, and a huge emphasis started being placed on telemedicine. Could it really be effective in targeting certain kinds of urgent problems, though? What about life-threatening problems like strokes?

Interestingly, there have in fact been major advancements in stroke treatment via telemedicine recently. Techniques in diagnosis and remote examination, as well as new types of software, are being developed to provide much-improved treatment for victims unable to physically reach fully-equipped hospitals during the early stages of a stroke. “Telestroke,” as it is known, has been in practice for some time, but it became much more widespread during Covid for the reasons mentioned above. It is now developing into a sophisticated treatment mechanism.


What Are The Warning Signs Of A Stroke?

What Are The Warning Signs Of A Stroke?

First of all, it is important to be able to identify a stroke when it happens. If a person suddenly feels numb in his or her extremities or in the face, is unable to speak properly, has difficulty seeing, or becomes dizzy, it may indicate that he or she is having a stroke.

If you think someone around you might be experiencing this, you should call the doctor immediately. While these might be symptoms of another problem, the risks that strokes pose of permanent health damage are great enough that the signs must be taken seriously.

What Type Of Treatment Would A Doctor Provide To A Remote Stroke Victim?

The first thing that would need to happen in the event of a stroke is that the victim would be taken to a local hospital. If that hospital was poorly equipped to deal with the problem in-house, a vascular neurologist would provide a diagnosis to the patient using video conferencing. Diagnosis can start taking place even when the victim is still in the ambulance.

Thanks to the development of advanced software and video technology, doctors are able to conduct CT scans remotely, indicating whether or not patients need to take urgent blood clot-busting intravenous medication. Then, after examining the images, the neurologists prescribe what is likely the most appropriate treatment.

The statistics on telemedicine benefits for stroke victims seem encouraging. Harvard recently estimated that “telestroke” is currently in use at one-third of US hospitals, and has been successful at treating the early stages of the problem.

In some cases, even more, intense remedies than blood thinners are called for, such as a thrombectomy. What is critical is that the doctor is able to determine the necessary treatment early enough that the stroke doesn’t cause severe, permanent damage.

Remote Follow-Up Treatment

A large number of stroke victims require doctors’ assistance in their rehabilitation efforts. This can either take the form of in-person, remote, or a hybrid combination of procedures. Many stroke victims require motor skills training to restore body functions. Hemiplegia, or partial paralysis, affects more than half of people who have suffered a stroke.

Fortunately, telemedicine has proved highly successful in providing remote motor skills training. In some studies, remote patients have had even greater success rates than in-person patients. Researchers speculate that this is due to the freedom that people feel to repeat exercises at home, without being bound by appointment times or being in restricted, unfamiliar places. In addition, people who attend home sessions are less likely to miss appointments because they don’t have to go through the effort of getting to the rehab center.

Aside from physical rehabilitation, there are other components to the rehab process that can also be conducted remotely. Speech therapy is another critical element in the process. Thanks to the increased standardization of remote therapy overall, this too is becoming more widespread.

Telemedicine Is Transforming Whole Medical Teams

Another advantage that telemedicine is providing not only to victims, but also to their families, medical teams, and society at large, is that whole teams are being trained on the telemedicine process. This includes the emergency care team who first communicates with a victim’s family as they need to be prepared to provide the correct type of advice.

The neurologists themselves, of course, are becoming versed in conducting remote treatment, and because they work with other members of the team, the language used among them needs to be standardized.

There is a wide range of specialists that take part in the rehabilitation process. Neurologists, psychologists, nutritionists, cardiologists, and various types of therapists all play a role in victims’ treatment.

Also, part of the rehabilitation process involves educating people on prevention. Both victims and non-victims are educated in healthy lifestyle patterns that can both help existing patients and work preventatively for those wanting to reduce the possibility of suffering a stroke. This includes nutritional choices, exercise recommendations, and other aspects of healthy lifestyles.

A Preferential Option Overall

While telemedicine cannot accomplish everything that an in-person hospital visit would, advancement in the field is making huge progress both in helping stroke victims in emergency situations and in assisting patients in their recoveries.

Of course, doctors still cannot perform surgery remotely. But there are many benefits to be gained from the treatment options currently available, and these will only continue to grow with even more advanced technology in the future. In addition, telemedicine saves costs on hospital visits, transportation, and other costs associated with in-person visits. It is beneficial for everyone involved.

Read Also:

  1. What Are Bug Bites? Know About The Types And Symptoms
  2. What Is Bipolar Disorder? Symptoms, Treatment, And Prevention
  3. Orange Triad Multivitamin Review, Ingredients, Side Effects, Benefits & Price
0 0 votes
Article Rating