Visionable teams up with West Ambulance Service for virtual triage pilot

Visionable has been commissioned by The Stroke Implementation Group, part of the Wales NHS Executive, to implement an emergency virtual triage pilot, which will allow stroke patients with the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust to proceed directly to CT scanning.

The initiative allows stroke patients arriving by ambulance to bypass the emergency department altogether. Instead, ambulance teams will work closely with hospital-based stroke teams to categorise potential stroke patients and get them on the correct treatment path as quickly as possible.

Diagnosing a stroke can be challenging, but the new triage pilot is hoping to reduce the number of stroke mimic attendances at A&E departments. In September 2012, 52.8% of stroke assessments in England and Wales were ultimately determined to be stroke-like symptoms known as stroke mimics.

In addition, it is hoped that the pilot will also increase the thrombolysis rate for stroke patients.

Shakeel Ahmad, national clinical lead for stroke at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, where the pilot will operate within, said: “Our aim is to have a structured pre-hospital assessment so patients are put on the correct pathway in order to quickly access life-changing treatments such as thrombolysis and thrombectomy.

“We hope the project will demonstrate a reduction in stroke mimics coming into hospital which will reduce the burden on the emergency department. Our vision is to digitally connect the entire stroke pathway and this is the first step in our journey.”

The pre-hospital stroke triage solution from Visionable will give West Ambulance Service NHS Trust clinicians virtual access to an on-call team via an app. This will allow them to securely share a feed of the patient via their camera.

The ‘see what I see’ triage approach supports stroke specialists to remotely interact with the ambulance clinician and patient in real-time, with functionality to enable a single view of patient diagnostics, video feeds and vital stats.

A partnership last year between Ipswich Hospital, Visionable and AI-powered company Brainomix has already seen the hospital deliver best-in-class service for its stroke patients.

Alan Lowe, CEO of Visionable, said: “Stroke is a key priority area for Visionable. We already support the East of England to digitally deliver stroke care and are now proud to be expanding the use of our technology in Wales.

“We look forward to sharing the results of this project so that we can continue to drive innovation and digital transformation in other regions across the country, as well as other health conditions.”

The new partnership aims to fully integrate the technology into the stroke care workflow for Cardiff and Vale. Eventually, it will provide a tried and tested blueprint for rolling out the same service to other areas.

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.