AcuteCare Telemedicine Blog


AcuteCare Telemedicine on the Forefront of Telestroke Care
January 28, 2016, 9:30 am
Filed under: Telemedicine

The year 2015 was a watershed year for the advancement of telehealth services and virtual healthcare all across the country. As rapidly increasing numbers of patients and providers alike warm up to the use and benefits of new communication technologies for the treatment of everything from chronic diseases to routine visits with general practitioners, one Atlanta-based company has become the leader in virtual stroke care.

AcuteCare Telemedicine (ACT) has been on the forefront of the use of telecommunication technology for years, remotely delivering live and interactive Telestroke and other Teleneurology solutions anytime, anywhere to hospitals and emergency medical centers throughout the Southeast. Last year ACT significantly expanded its telemedicine partnerships in small to mid-sized hospitals as well as enterprise level hospitals in Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

In addition to providing patients with the most advanced neurological care regardless of their proximity to major medical centers, Telehealth is playing a key role in saving rural hospitals from closing their doors. To date, 51 rural hospitals have closed in the US since 2010, according to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Southern states have been disproportionately affected by the increase in closing of rural facilities. Dr. James Kiely, Partner, ACT, says, “AcuteCare Telemedicine was created to impact the well-being of patients with severe neurological emergencies who otherwise wouldn’t have rapid access to vital expertise simply because of where they live.”

“The advancements in teleneurology not only allow us to access more patients in need of our specialized care, but improve patient outcomes overall,” says Dr. Keith Sanders, ACT Partner. “ACT’s expanding list of collaborations with partner hospitals will have a significant impact on the patients and the communities they serve.”

A new study published by the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases  indicates a practice-based telemedicine system can produce meaningful improvement in markers of telestroke efficiency in the face of rapid growth of a telestroke network. “Improving Telestroke Treatment Times in an Expanding Network of Hospitals” is authored by Keith A. Sanders, MD, James M. Kiely, MD, PhD, Matthews W. Gwynn, MD, Lisa H. Johnston, MD and Rahul Patel, BS.

As virtual health initiatives continue to move forward, new and valuable trends and telehealth technology solutions emerge, the traditional methods of delivering medical care are challenged and disrupted at medical facilities, physicians’ offices and hospitals.

Dr. Matthews Gwynn, Partner, ACT comments, “In-person visits will likely remain the mainstay for local care for those fortunate enough to be around many physicians, but when minutes count in emergencies experts can step in and make the decisions that will determine a lifetime of health instead of a lifetime of disability. Telemedicine isn’t a fad but rather a disruptive innovation that flows naturally out of technological advances and has already contributed immensely to our society’s health. It’s a perfect fit for our shrinking resources.”



AcuteCare Telemedicine Team of Neurological Specialists Publish New Study

A new study published by the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases indicates a practice-based telemedicine system can produce meaningful improvement in markers of telestroke efficiency in the face of rapid growth of a telestroke network. “Improving Telestroke Treatment Times in an Expanding Network of Hospitals” is authored by Keith A. Sanders, MD, James M. Kiely, MD, PhD, Matthews W. Gwynn, MD, Lisa H. Johnston, MD and Rahul Patel, BS.

AcuteCare Telemedicine (ACT) has remained committed to working with healthcare organizations to establish telestroke programs that not only improve access to specialty care but also significantly improve patient outcomes,” comments Dr. Keith Sanders, Partner, ACT. “It is critical to prove that our business is able to create telestroke programs that are not only effective but sustainable.”

As stated in the background for this study, telestroke must demonstrate successful outcomes to achieve sustained growth and acceptance. Asserting that telemedicine is faster, employs the latest technology, or promotes a better use of limited re-sources is laudable but insufficient. An analysis of stroke treatment within a telemedicine network in 2013 showed that tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) could be safely and reliably administered within a practice-based model of telestroke care. Since then, hospital volume and tPA administration within this network have tripled. We hypothesize that a practice-based model of telestroke can maintain positive outcomes in the face of rapid growth. As a result, the study demonstrates meaningful improvement in markers of telestroke efficiency in the face of rapid growth of a telestroke network.

“Success in our business isn’t just about adding new healthcare organizations to our client portfolio,’ says Dr. Matthews Gwynn, Partner, ACT. “As clinicians, we measure our success on consistently providing the highest level of stroke care and improving patient outcomes.  This study is representative of our ongoing commitment to serve as a leader in telestroke care, establishing a standard of care and a model that supports the positive growth of telestroke programs across the country.”

Download the full article here.

 About AcuteCare Telemedicine

Founded in 2009, AcuteCare Telemedicine is a limited liability corporation advancing the opportunity for healthcare institutions to gain access to highly-respected, expert neurologists and telemedicine technologies. AcuteCare offers a range of services including first-rate neurological emergency response care with around-the-clock support and hospital accreditation education. AcuteCare primarily provides remote emergency neurology consultation which fills staffing needs and reduces the costs associated with 24/7 neurologist availability. As a result, healthcare institutions provide full service emergency neurology care and can earn Joint Commission Certification as a Primary Stroke Center.