Spring 2015

Stroke Consults Via Video

Technology brings neurology expertise to small hospitals

300W_Thaler_David revPeople showing symptoms of a stroke without a neurologist near at hand to make the diagnosis, including those at community hospitals, can be in real trouble. Without specialized training in the field, it can be tough for doctors to tell whether a patient has suffered a stroke or is experiencing another problem with similar symptoms.

Time is critical in these cases, but there is no simple diagnostic test for a stroke. “The diagnosis is made only in the mind of the doctor,” David Thaler, neurologist-in-chief at Tufts Medical Center, told the Boston Business Journal. “That’s been the problem, getting neurologist expertise to the bedside so minutes don’t tick by.”

Now, for the first time, Tufts has begun making its neurology expertise available through a videoconferencing connection to a network of community hospitals to assist doctors in proper diagnosis and treatment of neurological cases. Through the arrangement, Tufts Medical School neurologists, including those based at Tufts Medical Center, can lend their help as needed.

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