Mobile Message for a Better Stroke Recognition: the New Concept of National Campaign
To the Editor:
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability globally. Despite its significance, the general knowledge regarding stroke is quite poor.1
Several cognitive and behavioral reasons for delaying the decision-making to seek treatment were significantly related to patient delay. Patients would be delayed if they did not know symptoms of a stroke or if they did not recognize their symptoms as a sign of stroke. If they do not recognize the importance of their symptoms, the start of an appropriate treatment can be also delayed.2 Rapid recognition of stroke warning sign is a critical factor for the acute treatment of stroke. Many studies try to simplify the public education message for the awareness of stroke.1 However, increasing the chance of the contacting public for education on a stroke is more important than simplifying the message itself.
Currently, cellular phones are the most popular personal communication device worldwide. It will be an innovative way for disseminating the important information to the general public. The Korea National Emergency Management Agency (KNEMA) produced a 2-minute video clip about CPR performance, which has been freely available for cellular download from the website www.nema.go.kr (http://188.8.131.52/safe_leader/emergency/emergency_01.jsp) since June 1, 2007. This video clip is also currently available for downloading from the website of every metropolitan, provincial, and local fire station in Korea. The KNEMA has been campaigning under the name “Mobile CPR for a better survival rate” in the hope of improving the performance of CPR by the general public. The total number of downloads of this video is up to ≈35 700 over the last 2 months. Several studies reported that an untrained novice could perform effective CPR with an instruction video clip integrated into multimedia such as a cellular phone or PDA.3
There are 2 real-life examples showing the effective application of this mobile content after the national campaign.
In reality, during CPR the rescuer should concentrate on the appropriate quality performance for effective CPR. Performing a right CPR while simultaneously watching the mobile video clip can be quiet hard to achieve. In contrast to this aspect, the education of stroke warning signs for general public by mobile message in the cellular phone can be a simple but great education method. Because the understanding of the subject matter will be increased by repeated education, this educational requirement can be ensured through the use of portable device like cellular phone. And more significantly with rapid recognition of a possible stroke patient on the scene by the educated lay person, patients can arrive at an emergency room as soon as possible, and it will allow the patient to have enough time for evaluation and appropriate treatment. Considering these advantages, we developed a project under the name of “Mobile Message for a Better Stroke Recognition”. It is somewhat different from the existing campaign for public stroke education. We are going to produce a video clip for a public stroke awareness message that is similar to the CPR video clip and propagate this video clip by allowing any individual in need to freely download from a portal site or webpage of a fire department to their cellular phone. Also, we are considering that in the process of manufacturing cellular phones, this mobile stroke video clip can be integrated into the memory device in premarket. This method will make general public be aware of the important information on urgent medical situation. They will be readily informed about symptoms of stroke through a message for public education regarding stroke. The message may help to improve delay times.
We are still in the middle of the effective use of this application. But, this campaign cannot only be a revolutionary way for propagating the emergent nature of stroke to the public but also can improve the outcome for receiving early treatment.
We can definitely expect an increase in better outcome and make a tremendous synergism in prehospital care with this campaign as a first-aid package, which is supposed to be composed of CPR instructions and stroke education.