In Thailand, stroke patients get diagnosed and given the best clinical preparation en route, well before they reach the hospital.
Thailand’s oldest and largest hospital has implemented telemedicine to enable rapid treatment for stroke patients treated by its team of emergency medics.
Siriraj Hospital’s Mobile Stroke Unit runs a special ambulance that connects its first responders to the experts at the hospital. This allows doctors to provide immediate attention, medical treatment, and diagnosis to patients during their transfer to the hospital.
Equipped to transfer medical images at high speed using a multicellular router and essential medical equipment such as CT scanner, the unit allows hospital doctors to diagnose and advise on the critical medical situation even before the patient reaches the Accident and Emergency department.
According to Dr Prasit Watanapa, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital Mahidol University: “The mobile stroke unit demonstrates how technology is transforming healthcare. With a more stable and reliable communication system, our doctors can now have quicker access to accurate information such as brain scan images to make quality diagnosis and improve patient treatment.”
So far, the mobile stoke unit has helped 380 stroke patients receive emergency medical treatment in Thailand. The successful outcome is a result of using state of the art telemedicine technology and communications systems to save precious time and lower the risk of death and disabilities in the stroke patients.
Two tech firms that contributed to the telemedicine capabilities are NTT and Cisco. According to Sutas Kongdumrongkiat, CEO of NTT Ltd. in Thailand: “We understand the importance of timely treatments in stroke patients, which can sometimes be difficult with Bangkok’s frequent traffic congestions. We have already installed these technologies in the first mobile stroke unit and are set to extend Siriraj Hospital’s fleet of mobile stroke units by five this year.”
Cisco’s Country Manager (interim) Taveewat Chantaraseno, described how his firm’s advanced video conferencing system and WebEx software are used: “We are proud to the Siriraj Mobile Stroke Unit to make the best use of remote telemedicine technology to provide first-class care. Through this partnership, we will offer a new way to help stroke patients receive emergency medical care when time is of the essence for their recovery and return to their normal lives.”