When every second counts: new app speed up acute care for stroke patients


When someone suffers a stroke, every second counts. Medical specialists from various disciplines work together to get a patient from the ambulance bay to the appropriate treatment as soon as possible. That’s why Karolinska University Hospital, together with Philips, is developing a communication tool that allows specialists to exchange patient information even quicker.

Keeping the door-to-treatment time as short as possible is a top priority as it increases stroke patients' chances to recover.

Tiago Moreira, a neurologist at Karolinska, thinks the tool holds great promise: "We want to make sure that everyone has the right information at their fingertips, so that we are all prepared to give the patient the fastest and best possible care."

Trating 900 stroke patients every year

Every year, more than 900 patients with stroke are treated at Karolinska University Hospital. When a patient arrives at the hospital, restoring blood flow and salvaging brain tissue are the first concern.

"Keeping the door-to-treatment time as short as possible is one of our top priorities," says Dr. Moreira. "We know from scientific studies that stroke patients have a larger chance of being able to live independently after three months if they are treated more quickly."

The need for cross-functional collaboration

To ensure prompt care for stroke patients, Karolinska focuses on cross-functional collaboration. As soon as the patient arrives at the hospital, various types of specialists and caregivers are lined up to get the patient to the right treatment: from stroke nurses to CT nurses, neuroradiologists and stroke neurologists.

"We all rely on each other for the right patient information," says Dr. Moreira. "For example, we need to know the expected time of arrival of the patient, the specific stroke symptoms, and the medication that the patient is on. The easier it is for us to share information like that, the quicker we can help a patient. That's how the idea for an app-based communication tool came about."

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