Mayo Clinic is expanding both its telemedicine and its robot presence in Florida by rolling out a new stroke telemedicine project. Mayo's first partner in the project is Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Fla. On April 30, an In Touch Health Multipresence Robot joined the staff in Parrish to allow
Mayo Clinic physicians to consult from afar by robot-assisted teleconference on stroke patients.
It's just like "being at the foot of a patient's bed," Kevin Barrett, M.D., a vascular neurologist at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus, told the Jacksonville Business Journal. "You can examine their mental status, language function, facial movements, strength in the arms and legs by asking them to perform certain maneuvers, and the bedside nurse can assist with some components of the exam."
The telemedicine project is aimed at connecting stroke specialists with local physicians to allow patients to be treated more quickly and closer to home. And time is critical with these patients. When a stroke patient arrives at the emergency department, that triggers a call to the Mayo neurologist. And "with the assistance of a nurse at the patient's bedside, the doctor can remotely examine the patient," after the patient is moved to a hospital room.
What patients and medical staff at the hospital see during the consult is a "live image of the Mayo Clinic physician" on the monitor screen atop the robot. The fact that the image is where the robot's head would be adds to the effect, since the robot is "shaped like a human,"
Francisco Garcia, medical director of the emergency department for Parrish Medical Center, told the journal.
The Florida telemedicine project, along with a stroke telemedicine project in Arizona, received a CoDE Innovation Fund award from the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation in 2009 and 2010, helping to
make the roll out possible.
Category: Pathology News