At a Glance
- Rapid stroke assessments by remote physicians
The nine hospitals of Orlando Health serve more than 1.6 million residents of Central Florida. These hospitals are leading providers of stroke treatment, including the innovative tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) protocol. This treatment is most effective when delivered immediately after the onset of a stroke and typically not administered at all more than 3-4 hours after a stroke.
To accelerate the assessment and treatment of stroke patients, Orlando Health turned to Polycom video collaboration solutions.
Telemedicine expands access to life-saving stroke treatment
A limited number of neurologists in central Florida specialize in stroke treatment. So, Orlando Health chose the Polycom RealPresence Platform to give them access to more patients. The Polycom solution enables neurologists to see a patient, over live video, within minutes of the patient arriving at a hospital – from wherever the neurologist can access an Internet connection.
On tablet computers, the neurologists use Polycom RealPresence Mobile, our secure video collaboration software. This software includes the new, far-end camera-control feature, which streamlines and enhances patient-practitioner interactions.
The faster a patient receives stroke treatment, the better the chances they will recover without permanent disability. This means a stroke specialist must connect with the patient quickly, which can be hard to do when there are more patients than doctors. Polycom makes this connection over live video and empowers the remote neurologists to control high-definition video cameras in the exam room.
“Stroke treatment is intense and complicated,” says Carlos Carrasco, director, Business Development and Innovation, Orlando Health. “Time is of the essence. Polycom video collaboration is accelerating ‘door to needle’ treatment by minutes, sometimes even hours. That precious time can change a person’s life forever.”
Orlando Health has implemented the telestroke program in three of its hospitals, with plans to expand the implementation. These hospitals use Polycom HDX 8000 systems mounted on patient-side carts to provide a high definition video feed for the neurologists.
Polycom mobile software and far-end camera control
Remote neurologists prefer to use Polycom RealPresence Mobile software on tablets when connecting to stroke victims. Tablets start almost instantly, saving precious minutes over waiting for a laptop to boot up.
One of the most valuable capabilities of the Polycom solution is the “far-end” camera control that empowers a remote neurologist to maneuver and adjust the camera in the hospital from her or his tablet. Doctors can zoom and pan to see a patient’s face or extremities, and to watch a patient’s body language and movement. The camera can be manipulated in seconds, without interrupting a conversation with the patient or the staff in the emergency room. And, the doctor doesn’t have to waste valuable time trying to direct a technician on when and how to move the camera.
“In the past, I may have driven 20 or 30 minutes to assess a stroke patient,” says Dr. Bennett Rosenthal, Orlando Health neurologist. “Now it happens almost instantly, and the likelihood of a positive outcome for my patients is much higher.”