Sep 3 2014
As a result of their partnership with the University of Kansas Hospital, Hays Medical Center brought in a Tele-Stroke robot at the beginning of August, which allows local doctors to connect with doctors outside the region in order to assist in treatments for stroke patients.
The robot is equipped with a camera that can turn to scan an entire room connected to a screen, microphone, and speakers. It is also equipped with a height adjustable handle and wheels to allow for mobility around the room.
The robot is a 24/7 assistance line between doctors of different regions.
“The stroke neurologist and physicians at KU can actually visualize [the process] at any time wherever they’re at,” said Carol Groen, director of special projects.
It is an important edition to the Hays Medical Center because real-time assistance between the working doctor and the specialists is crucial when handling stroke patients.
“Through a laptop or an iPad, the doctor can control the robot from wherever they are,” Groen said.
“Having the tele-medicine piece actually allows the physician on the other end to beam in on the patient and be able to see the exam that the physician in Hays is doing,” Groen said.
Typical stroke treatment is often dependent on the medication available, and t-PA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) offered at HaysMed.
“The problem with t-PA is that it’s a very time limited; we have four and a half hours to give that medicine,” Groen said.
It is also a technology capable of contributing to hospitals with more basic equipment and lower availability of aid.
“When you’re at a smaller facility, this is key to those areas when they may not have a practitioner or a physician at the Emergency Room,” Groen said.
Most importantly, the Tele-Stroke device provides a new level of diagnosis.
“Utilizing the tele-stroke robot allows us to conduct a full diagnostic exam on the patient and gather all the clinical information to provide excellent care for our patients,” said Larry Watts, chief medical officer.
The advancement in treatment with the Tele-Stroke robot will help with a health issue that has a great impact on society.
“Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death,” Groen said.
“F.A.S.T. – facial drooping, arm weakness, slurred speech and time to call 911,” Watts said.