When minutes matter: Technology connects patients in Burnsville to stroke experts at University of Minnesota Health

A neurologist miles away can diagnose a stroke patient at Fairview Ridges Hospital.

Telestroke

Patients at Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville can now be connected to stroke specialists from University of Minnesota Health through innovative “Telestroke” technology.

When a patient arrives at the emergency room with signs of stroke, a specialist can virtually be at their bedside within minutes. Nearly 2 million brain cells die every minute during a stroke, so speed is critical in preventing long-term damage.

“We have very effective treatments to reverse stroke and prevent future stroke,” says Christopher Streib, MD, a neurologist for University of Minnesota Health. “Now patients will receive the immediate expert consultation they need -- locally, in their own community.”

Telestroke technology consists of a sophisticated two-way audio and visual system, allowing neurologists to remotely manipulate a high-definition video camera to diagnose stroke symptoms, which can vary significantly from patient to patient.

From University of Minnesota Medical Center, neurologists can examine patients at Fairview Ridges in real time, review the results of brain-imaging tests, and coordinate with the on-site team to start the best treatment for that patient’s type of stroke.

Fairview and University of Minnesota Health rolled out the technology at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina in January. It’s slated to come to Fairview hospitals in Princeton, Wyoming, and Grand Rapids, Minn., later this year.

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