Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Virtual visits shrink the distance in stroke rehab

07.06.2010
Telemedicine holds the key to the rehabilitation of people with stroke living in northern, rural, remote Canadian communities, rehabilitation researcher Esmé French told the Canadian Stroke Congress today.

"Bringing stroke care to an area the size of France is a massive challenge – especially when many communities lack year round road access," says French. "The unique conditions of northern communities require a unique response from the stroke rehabilitation community."

Those living in many northern communities – which include many Aboriginal residents − have limited, if any, access to stroke rehabilitation, says French, who works at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and is a professional associate with the School of Rehabilitation Studies at McMaster University.

French and her colleagues, physiotherapist Kirsti Reinikka and Dr. Maria Huijbregts, tested the use of telemedicine applications to make consultations with rehabilitation providers available to stroke survivors in these remote areas.

Over a five month period, 10 video consultations took place between stroke survivors and an interdisciplinary team of rehab experts which included a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a speech-language pathologist, and a social worker.

The stroke survivors had been discharged from hospital to communities in Northwestern Ontario where access to rehabilitation is severely limited or altogether absent. "The video technology removes the distance barrier and provides a practical alternative when direct services are not available," says French. "The experience was rated good-to-excellent by both patients and rehabilitation therapists."

The healthcare, community, and telemedicine partnerships were critical to the success of the program.

"The innovative use of telemedicine technology can overcome geographic and human resource barriers restricting access to care by the Aboriginal community," says Canadian Stroke Network spokesperson Dr. Antoine Hakim. "This is especially important in a country as large and spread out as Canada, where the Aboriginal communities typically reside in more remote locations."

French points out that access to rehabilitation professionals is one piece in assuring that people in remote communities receive all aspects of care. "It's vital that community members have access to the full continuum of care, including screening, emergency care, and treatment," she says. "Look at what's possible by bringing a host of professionals to the community via telemedicine. We can take these learnings to other areas."

"This technological solution can play an important role in providing equal access to stroke care for all Canadians, regardless of where they live," says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Michael Hill. "The ideal, of course, is to start even earlier by preventing strokes in the first place by raising awareness of risk factors."

Risk factors and the Aboriginal population:

Aboriginal people are twice as likely to die from stroke (71.5 per 100,000) than the general Canadian population (34.2 per 100,000);
Aboriginal people are more prone to obesity with a risk just over 1.5 times that of the general population; the overall proportion of First Nations people considered overweight or obese is more than 20 per cent higher than of Canadians overall; and
The rate of diabetes among Aboriginal people in Canada is three to five times that of the general population and there is a trend to early stage onset;

"First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people are at an even greater risk of heart disease and stroke than the general population," says Dr. Hill. "Decreasing the number of strokes that occur in Aboriginal communities requires culturally appropriate prevention strategies and novel healthcare solutions to improve outcomes in remote communities."

The Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan (CHHS-AP) released in February 2009 contained specific recommendations to reduce heart disease and stroke in Aboriginal/indigenous communities in Canada, including developing a multi-year action plan using a partnership approach involving Aboriginal/indigenous groups, federal/provincial/territorial governments, and nongovernmental organizations.

Heart and Stroke Foundation health information for Aboriginal people can be found at heartandstroke.ca/Aboriginal.

The Canadian Stroke Congress is co-hosted by the Canadian Stroke Network, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Stroke Consortium.

Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Foundation or CSN policy or position. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Stroke Network make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.

The Canadian Stroke Network (canadianstrokenetwork.ca) includes more than 100 of Canada's leading scientists and clinicians from 24 universities who work collaboratively on various aspects of stroke. The network, which is headquartered at the University of Ottawa, also includes partners from industry, the non-profit sector, provincial and federal governments. The Canadian Stroke Network, one of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence, is committed to reducing the physical, social and economic impact of stroke on the lives of individual Canadians and on society as a whole.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.

Jane-Diane Fraser | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hsf.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>