In-Vehicle Connectivity for Telemedicine Stroke Care
University of Virginia Health System developed a toolkit with telehealth capabilities that links field emergency professionals to the UVA emergency room while stroke victims are being transported via ambulance. Getting a neurological assessment started en route instead of after arrival at the hospital can save lives and prevent paralysis, speech, vision problems, and permanent disability. The iTREAT (Improving Treatment with Rapid Evaluation of Acute Stroke via Mobile Telemedicine) toolkits — they include a tablet, high-speed modem, and portable magnetic mount antenna — are being implemented as a research protocol to test the feasibility of ambulance-based mobile telemedicine.
Project leaders hypothesize that it will enhance prehospital diagnosis, emergency triage, treatment times, and patient outcomes. Early results for the study have been promising. A live video link between the ambulance and specialists in the UVA emergency room is a ground-breaking addition — but it’s only possible with a continuous high-speed connection.
Along with reliable uptime, iTREAT project managers knew the toolkit would require:
- Excellent radio strength
- Robust antenna capabilities
- Portability and small form factor
- Quick and easy deployment
- Overall affordability
UVA Health System considered using MiFi hotspots, but it was determined that these devices lacked the radio quality and strength, durability, reliability, and antenna capabilities necessary to meet iTREAT’s needs. Instead the organization selected Cradlepoint’s ruggedized COR Series routers to facilitate reliable 4G LTE cellular broadband connectivity at a price that would enable deployment across rural and urban areas.
Read UVA Health System's Full 4G LTE Success Story