|Dr Ian Mosley, senior lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, has won a grant to promote the use of telemedicine for treating stroke patients in regional Victoria.
The Windermere Foundation recently announced it would fund the $14,822 study, ‘Leading the implementation of telemedicine among acute stroke teams in regional Victoria’.
The study will investigate the factors that assist or discourage clinical staff from using new technology in their practice. The results will inform education programs that promote the effectiveness of telemedicine to doctors and nurses and make it routine when treating acute stroke patients in regional areas.
The study supports a $2.13 million Victorian Stroke Telemedicine (VST) project that will link specialist neurologists in Melbourne to Bendigo Hospital from March.
Dr Mosley, who is also coordinating the VST project, said the neurologists would use telemedicine to assess acute stroke patients remotely and communicate with medical staff in Bendigo on appropriate treatment.
The project should lead to an increase in the administration of a highly- effective clot-busting drug tPA that can significantly reduce brain injury and even death in patients suffering from acute stroke.
The telemedicine technology includes super fast broadband, brain imaging technology, video conferencing and high definition cameras.
Stroke is the second biggest cause of death and greatest cause of adult disability in Australia. Every year more than 14,000 Victorians suffer a stroke, including 5000 in rural and regional areas.
“Telemedicine can reduce death and disability caused by stroke in rural and regional areas, but it hasn’t been used to its full potential in Australia,” Dr Mosley said.
“The aim of this study is to engage doctors and nursing staff in the use of telemedicine to achieve the best possible outcomes for acute stroke patients.”
The State Government of Victoria, Department of Innovation Industry and Regional Development is a major funding contributor of the VST through the Victorian Science Agenda Fund. The consortium of contributing partner organisations is led by the Florey Neuroscience Institutes and includes the Department of Health, National Stroke Foundation, Bendigo Health, Loddon Mallee Rural Health Alliance and Ambulance Victoria.