Prehospital Unassisted Assessment of Stroke Severity Using Telemedicine
A Feasibility Study
Background and Purpose—We evaluated the feasibility and the reliability of remote stroke severity quantification in the prehospital setting using the Unassisted TeleStroke Scale (UTSS) via a telestroke ambulance system and a fourth-generation mobile network.
Methods—The technical feasibility and the reliability of the UTSS were studied in healthy volunteers mimicking 41 stroke syndromes during ambulance transportation.
Results—Except for 1 issue, high-quality telestroke assessment was feasible in all scenarios. The mean examination time for the UTSS was 3.1 minutes (SD, 0.4). The UTSS showed excellent intrarater and interrater variability (ρ=0.98 and 0.97; P<0.001), as well as excellent internal consistency and rater agreement. Adequate concurrent validity can be derived from the strong correlation between the UTSS and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (ρ=0.90; P<0.001).
Conclusions—Remote assessment of stroke severity in fast-moving ambulances using a system dedicated to prehospital telemedicine, 4G technology, and the UTSS is feasible and reliable.
- Received May 31, 2013.
- Accepted July 2, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.