Wireless, Video Technologies to Speed Stroke Diagnosis


Project: StrokeDoc Multimedia Telemedical Diagnostic System
PI: Ramesh Rao, Prof, Jacobs School of Engineering; UCSD Division Director, Calit2
Funding: Nat'l Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, NIH
Division: UCSD
Corporate Partners: QUALCOMM Inc., Path 1 Network Technologies, Inc.
Start Date: June 2003

StrokeDoc Multimedia Telemedical Diagnostic System

Time is critical in stroke treatment. Every 53 seconds in America, someone has a stroke, interrupting blood flow to the brain. Chances of recovery are significantly improved if treatment begins within three hours of stroke onset, but too many strokes result in death or severe disability due to delays in diagnosis and treatment. Only 30% of stroke victims arrive at the hospital in time to be considered candidates for an effective type of clot-busting therapy called thrombrolysis. Of these patients, only about 20% receive the therapy, often because physicians are unsure if the patient is an appropriate candidate for the treatment. To improve those statistics, Calit2 scientists are tailoring new broadband, wireless video technologies to make it possible for a specialist to participate in emergency long-distance consultations with patients soon after the onset of symptoms.

"We are delighted that this project provided an opportunity to not only piece together state-of-the-art technologies from Calit2 industrial partners, but also enhance them in a unique way to provide a solution that satisfied the needs of this project. We are convinced that what we have learned from this experience is more broadly applicable."
- Ramesh Rao, UCSD Division Director, Calit2

This StrokeDoc telemedical system is part of a wider 5-year, $5-million project led by UCSD School of Medicine professor Patrick Lyden, M.D., and integrates expertise and advanced technologies in three areas - video processing, real-time cellular packet-data transport, and medicine. The prototype system provides an emergency room or clinic with access to medical specialists in other locations by means of a common-place personal laptop computer connected to the Internet via conditioned last-mile access loops and next-generation cellular data transport technologies. The system combines advanced video compression and synchronization technologies, new technologies to guarantee the quality of service (QoS) for real-time video and medical telemetry over IP networks, and new mobile wireless data communications technologies. The innovations necessary to adapt the technologies to the project include improvement of the wireless QoS mechanisms to help ensure the quality of the video feed to the physician so as to enable correct diagnosis.

Several community hospitals are participating in the UCSD clinical trial. When a suspected stroke patient arrives in the emergency room, the local physician sends live video of the patient to a wireless laptop computer operated by the on-call member of the UCSD Stroke Center team. The specialist participates in the physical exam as it takes place, consults with the community physician, and advises in administration of appropriate drugs.

Contact: Ramesh Rao, (858) 822-4572,