Between 2005 - 2008 the pre-hospital diagnostics of acute stroke were tested and studied as part of a research trial entitled StrokeNet. The project was coordinated by Charité University Medicine Berlin with partners including: Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin), Berlin Fire Department, Schnelle Medizinische Hilfe Krankentransport GmbH (SMH) and MEYTEC GmbH Informationssysteme. The trial utilised ambulances operated by the Berlin Fire Department in conjunction with patient transport ambulances (PTA) provided by SMH GmbH. The vehicles were equipped with the newly developed telemedical system VIMED® CAR, to provide the transmission of audio, video and data in real-time. The intelligent transmission network of the DAI-Labor delivered by the Technical University of Berlin enabled the transmission of data via UMTS-network to the designated acute stroke hospital. In addition, it was possible to connect further medical devices on-board the ambulance vehicle with the telemedical system VIMED® CAR via Bluetooth.
The stroke units at the campuses of Mitte and Benjamin Franklin of the Charité, utilised the newly developed stationary telemedical systems VIMED® DOC to provide real-time support throughout the telemedical workflow, between the neurologist in the stroke unit and the ambulances. In addition two clinical partners: Park-Klinik Weißensee and Oberhavel Kliniken Hennigsdorf were also equipped with wireless-workstations VIMED® DOC. The transmitted medical data via UMTS-network could be stored directly and evaluated on the VIMED® DOC. Furthermore, the telemedicine center could interconnect, thanks to the central VIMED® Multipoint Control Unit (MCU), with up to 8 partners simultaneously in real-time. This innovative solution allowed transmission of video signals from the ambulance vehicle to the stroke unit. The video communication was used to provide audiovisual diagnostic of the stroke patients in the ambulance vehicle for the first time. The major advantage of the new solution was that the experienced neurologist was able to validate the suspected stroke. This enabled the required diagnostic and therapeutic measurements to be completed while the patient was on route to the designated stroke unit. The practical tests disclosed, that it was possible to transmit data while the ambulance was in transit in real-time. The results of the project demonstrated a shortened period of alarm-to-needle time was possible, which in turn could lead to the better outcome of the stroke patients.
MEYTEC currently provides technical support in another similar research project at the University of Greifswald. The project runs presently not in the described form