Clearly, stroke is a condition that can occur any time throughout the day. Unfortunately, however, many hospitals do not have the resources to provide a stroke team round the clock for specialist assistance.

Telemedicine is a way to use specialist resources from hospitals or healthcare centres where they are available in centres where they are not. When used for suspected stroke, this practice is sometimes called 'telestrokeTelephone or internet use to obtain advice in the treatment of stroke from experts at another site.'.

Rather than simply giving telephone advice, specialists can view patients in remote emergency departments and check scans in real time. They can then guide, for example, the delivery of clot-busting drugs (thrombolyticsA medication that breaks up blood clots.). Telestroke makes effective stroke treatment available to more people.[1,2]

  1. Hess DC, Wang S, Gross H et al. Telestroke: extending stroke expertise into underserved areas.  Lancet Neurol 2006; 5: 275-78.
  2. Audebert H. Telestroke: effective networking. Lancet Neurol 2006; 5: 279-82.