Telehealth Hailed at NHS World Stroke Day Event


For World Stroke Day, the NHS is celebrating a life-saving application of traditional telehealth technology it has dubbed “TeleStroke.” With stroke, best practices require administration of a clot busting agent within 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms for patients to have the best possible prognosis. Before the medication can be administered, a formal diagnosis must be made, and so every minute counts for an undiagnosed stroke patient.

In an effort to reduce the time between the onset of symptoms and a final diagnosis,  the NHS has instituted TeleStroke technology at two remote trusts. TeleStroke provides these trusts with 24-hour on-call stroke specialists available to aid in diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients.

Though TeleStroke is still just a regional pilot program, it has already proven itself a life-saving and cost-reducing game-changer for the NHS. TeleStroke has saved the NHS more than $12 million over the last year. Considering that stroke is the third leading cause of death in the UK and costs taxpayers $13 billion a year, the potential savings of both life and money will be significant once the NHS expands the program nationwide. To date, TeleStroke has been credited with aiding in 167 stroke survivals at the two regional trusts.

One in six people worldwide will suffer a stroke within their lifetime. Just like the UK, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US and the leading cause of serious long-term injury. The most common stroke warning sign is sudden weakness of the face, arm, or legs – most often on one side of the body. If you remember just that one fact, you will instantaneously become active participants in an mHealth initiative to improve stroke outcomes in your own local communities.

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