Friday, 04 July 2008 
Doctors Recognise Apoplectic Strokes via Vodafone VideoTelephony PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 May 2006

Apoplectic strokes can be recognised via VideoTelephony with a mobile phone. These are the results of the apoplectic stroke study 'Fast UMTS' that the University of Twente has held together with Vodafone and a number of doctors and neurologists throughout the country. The faster an apoplectic stroke is diagnosed, the greater the chance of recovery. Being able to instantly view real-time images of patients via the mobile phone contributes to this.

During the 'Fast UMTS' study, it was determined that the Vodafone UMTS network and Vodafone VideoTelephony are of sufficiently high quality that doctors can remotely and without difficulty recognize the symptoms of patients with an apoplectic stroke. The trials were performed in rehabilitation centre 'Het Roessingh' in Enschede, neurologists of the Medical Spectrum Twente and University Medical Centre Nijmegen and general practitioners in Meerssen and Vlaardingen. General practitioner Robert Harris of Nijmegen says: "I would start using it right away if VideoTelephony is available for this type of medical aid. It works well, especially when in doubt. The mobile phone then helps to react fast and effectively in case of an apoplectic stroke and precious time is won."

Extending tests
The successful testing of Vodafone VideoTelephony to recognize apoplectic strokes via the mobile telephone has given the University of Twente the green light to extend the testing to practical situations. For example, an old people's home warden, equipped with a UMTS mobile phone, is, in case of an emergency, able to let a doctor see the condition of his patient on the spot. Or fitting a UMTS mobile telephone as standard equipment at every doctors practice in the Netherlands to enable practitioners to view live images of patients. University professor Rob Kleissen: "We have proven the technical feasibility, and we have learned much about the practicalities that need to be considered. In future we would very much like to establish some sort of emergency service (112) for video telephony. Therefore a close cooperation with healthcare organizations is essential."

Apoplectic strokes are the most common cause of disability in the Netherlands. Each year, 36,000 people in the Netherlands suffer an apoplectic stroke; almost 100 people a day. When this happens, it is important that an apoplectic stroke is recognised as quickly and as well as possible. Every minute of delay before hospital admission counts.

The initiative of the University of Twente and Vodafone fits within the FAST campaign of the Dutch Heart Foundation (Nederlandse Hartstichting) that teaches people to quickly recognise the symptoms of an apoplectic stroke. If the patient is in hospital within three hours of the stroke, a thrombolysis can be performed there. With this treatment, the remaining effects of such an apoplectic stroke are smaller. If the patient is admitted later than three hours after the stroke, treatment is much less effective. Speed and adequate action is therefore of vital importance.

The test is part of the research and education of the Biomedical Technology study in the field of IT and healthcare, where there is particular focus on developing innovative healthcare processes in which information and communication technology help bridge the distances between those that need care and those that provide telemedicine and telecare.

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