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Ann Neurol. 2005 Nov;58(5):666-71.

Developing and implementing future stroke therapies: the potential of telemedicine.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


Stroke is a major public health concern with few positive phase III clinical trials and a shortage of stroke care expertise. Drug development likely can be enhanced by adapting new outcome measures and following guidelines generated by consensus groups. To enhance rates of drug implementation and to improve stroke care, some states are requiring that acute care hospitals obtain primary stroke center certification, and this mandate necessitates that smaller hospitals join larger ones in stroke care networks. Cutting-edge technology in the form of telemedicine is being implemented in stroke care networks to combat the lack of stroke care expertise by extending the availability of physician stroke expertise. The telemedicine network can be used to transmit real-time data from stroke care-certified community hospitals (spokes) to a tertiary center (hub). Telemedicine can be used to educate physicians in spoke hospitals about new stroke treatments. The advent and development of telemedicine has the potential to ensure that patients with stroke have a greater opportunity to receive the full range of therapeutic options currently available and those that will become available in the future. The implementation of future drug therapies through telemedicine-organized stroke networks will likely substantially influence the future of acute stroke therapy.

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