First-of-its-kind technology enables physicians to remotely consult on stroke cases

First-of-its-kind technology enables physicians to remotely consult on stroke cases

A first-of-its-kind mobile phone-based software technology may allow physicians to manage and consult on stroke cases in real time from anywhere in the world, a study presented at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) 9th Annual Meeting in San Diego showed. The telediagnostic imaging support system knownas the i-Stroke System, licensed by Fujifilm, facilitates the transfer of information and diagnostic imaging to physicians in any remote location and allows them to consult on diagnosis and treatment via a Twitter direct messaging system. The system is showing success in Japan and may be poised to make its entry into the U.S. market, according to the society.

As a stroke patient's outcome is completely dependent on providing the right care within a small window of time in order to restore blood flow and preserve brain function, Yuichi Murayama, M.D., Director for the Center of Endovascular Surgery
at Jikei University School of Medicine (JUSC) in Tokyo, Japan, and co-inventor of i-Stroke, says this new technology can help overcome situational obstacles that can add time

to the clock and delay diagnosis and treatment. "As every minute is crucial when dealing with stroke, it is my belief that for those patients eligible for treatment, especially endovascular therapy which requires surgical preparation, this technology can significantly improve on the patient's 'door to treatment' time which, in turn, has significant implications for the patient's prognosis."

The system is now in place in approximately six hospitals in Japan. Murayama, along with co-inventor Hiroyuki Takao, M.D., instructor at JUSC, both of whom have joint appointments with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) are now looking forward to a near-term trial in the United States to evaluate the technology's impact on time to treatment and pave the way for a possible FDA approval.

Telemedicine has been a developing trend in recent years made possible by significant technological advancements and in response to multiple factors including patient or physician geography. To date, however, the exchange of complex information and imaging with physicians in any remote location has been limited. Now, says Murayama, the i-Stroke System allows high-quality transfer of information to a mobile phone which means that physicians can work from any place where they have a cell phone signal.

In the United States alone, where there are only about 200 stroke centers, Murayama believes the technology would find a receptive audience. "As physicians, our goal is to continually advance the science and technology that make better patient care possible. That's what i-Stroke is all about."