Telemedicine (also sometimes referred to as
“telehealth”) is the use of electronic information and
telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical
health care, patient and professional health-related education, public
health, and health administration.
Technologies used in telehealth typically are
videoconferencing, the Internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming
media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.
By using telemedicine, doctors at remote locations can consult
with UTMB Health neurologists to provide care in your home community
and try to avoid the need for transfer to another medical center. This
focus on regional care often allows you to receive quality stroke care
in your community.
Telemedicine operates on a hub-and-spoke system. A large urban
medical center, generally certified as a primary or comprehensive stroke
center, usually serves as the primary medical center (the hub). Remote
locations, usually smaller regional rural or underserved hospitals,
serve as the spokes. Many regional hospitals don't have neurologists on
call to recommend the most appropriate care. In stroke telemedicine, for
example, a vascular neurologist at the hub consults with doctors and
people who've had acute strokes at the remote sites (spokes).
This technology can be useful in emergency situations in which a
doctor at a regional hospital (the spoke) may need consultation if
he/she suspects an acute stroke. After you have a CT scan at the spoke
hospital, the vascular neurologist at the hub performs a live, real-time
audiovisual consultation. The vascular neurologist may discuss your
medical history and review your test results. The vascular neurologist
evaluates you, works with your doctor to determine the most appropriate
treatment and sends the treatment recommendation electronically to the
Having a prompt evaluation increases the possibility that
clot-dissolving therapies (thrombolytics) can be delivered in time to
reduce stroke-related disability. To be effective, clot-dissolving
therapies must be given within three to four and a half hours after you
experience stroke symptoms.
UTMB Center for Telehealth Research and Policy
Electronic Health Network
University of Texas Medical Branch
301 University Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77555-1042