Wisconsin Telestroke Network
There are 15,000 patients who suffer a stroke each year but only a tiny fraction receive the only drug proven to help them: tPA. Patients don't receive this drug in part because most communities lack the neurological expertise to advise local emergency physicians regarding its use. The telestroke system puts a high-quality video camera in community emergency rooms and allows UW stroke specialists to interview and examine the patients and review their brain imaging remotely. Specialists then make recommendations about tPA use and whether transfer to a tertiary hospital is indicated. In this way, the telestroke program leverages the specialized expertise here at UW to address a critical public health problem affecting the entire state.