Back in 2006 we funded a web based “hub and spoke” telemedicine system with tobacco tax funds to link up small rural and undeserved hospitals with a Primary Stroke Center (Mayo Clinic Arizona) which can give expert advice on how to best treat acute stroke patients at the rural hospitals (also called spoke hospitals).  We’re very interested in leveraging this technology in under-served rural AZ- because getting the right treatment for stroke in the first hour or so is critical to a good outcome, and that’s often a struggle in rural and frontier AZ. 

The “Telestroke” system has been very successful… and is now being used in 10 AZ hospitals delivering state of the art acute stroke care to hundreds of stroke patients.  The group published a report in this month’s Stroke Journal which showed that the ability to view a stroke patients’ CT scan using the Telestroke System was just as good as the radiologist viewing the CT scan in person at the hub hospital- demonstrating that the technology is robust enough and has such high resolution that it can be used for decision making in the field.  This is another example of how AZ continues to help the nation with pre-hospital and ED care.