iRobot helps treat stroke patients - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

iRobot helps treat stroke patients

(Source: WOIO) (Source: WOIO)
AKRON, OH (WOIO) -

Stroke affects 700,000 people every year in the U.S.  It's the third leading cause of death and the number one cause of long-term adult disability.

There's a shortage in hospitals right now of vascular neurologists, stroke specialists. Those doctors can be key to helping with diagnosis and quick treatment. But new technology is helping those doctors reach even more patients and potentially save lives.

When a stroke happens, the brain is robbed of oxygen. The faster victims are treated, the less damage is done.

"Be aggressive and quick. Time is brain," says Dr. Susana Bowling, Vascular Neurologist at Summa Health in Akron. 

Using this iRobot,  Dr. Bowling can be in the emergency room at Summa Health in Akron or Barberton in an instant, even if she's at home or at her office.

"With the robot, if there's a stroke in Barberton, 24/7, I'm there as fast as I can be here."

The robot is mapped to each emergency room at Summa in Akron. Like Facetime to the extreme, Dr. Bowling can conduct real-time picture recognition and speech exams. She can zoom into a patient's eyes.

“The eyes are very important. I can see how they're moving."

There's a stethoscope to monitor heartbeat and full-range access so Dr. Bowling can quickly see a clock, monitors and how other doctors are responding.

"Quite often what I see is totally different than what other people see."

There's a significant shortage of neurologists worldwide right now and telemedicine is the growing trend to expand that specialized care.

"This is a big world with lots of patients and a lot of hospitals. Many hospitals in the U.S. don't have access to expert vascular neurologists," says Dr. Bowling.

Dr. Bowling says using the iRobot at Summa, they now treat more than 70% of stroke patients in less than 60 minutes. She thinks it has saved lives.

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