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Ambulance demonstrations during Vitalis

Scandinavia's leading eHealth meeting Vitalis was held at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg. PICTA had a test ambulance on site where video support for more efficient stroke care was demonstrated. Many visitors appreciated seeing what eHealth means in the real world.

PICTA's showcase included a test ambulance, which was a part of the PreTest project. It was also used in collaboration with partners to illustrate the ViPHS project. This project uses real-time streamed video to provide conditions for stroke patients to receive optimal care, even at a long distance from the hospital providing the care. With the help of three cameras in the ambulance, the ambulance technicians hold video consultation with a stroke expert. With the video consultation, it is assessed whether the patient should be taken to the nearest hospital for potential thrombolysis, or to Sahlgrenska Univerity Hospital for mechanical removal of the clot (thrombectomy). The latter procedure is currently used for larger clots and Sahlgrenska is the only hospital in Västra Götaland that provides the treatment.

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- In medical care, you always work to apply the best treatment methods possible so that the patients receive the right level of care. That is precisely what ViPHS is about. Decision-making support where you can also see the actual patient is something in which I believe strongly, says Anna Kängström, lecturer at the University of Borås and ambulance technician.

If the patient shows symptoms of a more severe stroke, the ambulance contacts an emergency neurologist via video camera prior to departure. The emergency neurologist then has a clear understanding of the patient's situation and can conduct a neurological examination according to a test protocol with high accuracy (NHISS). Then the emergency neurologist can, in consultation with the ambulance personnel, determine which care should be given to the patient and the hospital to which the patient should be taken.

- The idea is that the ambulance is directed to the right hospital, regardless of whether the patient lives in a major city where the nearest hospital is ten minutes away or the patient is in Ulricehamn where the distance to Sahlgrenska is much greater. With BiPHS, all patients have the opportunity to receive the same care, says Anna Kängström.

Clinical tests are currently being conducted in three ambulances in Västra Götaland and the goal is to equip more during 2019.

- The goal of the project is that more patients will receive the right level of care. Previously, the patients were taken to Sahlgrenska, but first via another hospital. With this decision-making support, patients can be taken directly to Sahlgrenska, which creates additional treatment time. Of course, I hope that more ambulances are equipped with this capability, because there are currently only three, says Anna Kängström.

- We are very pleased with our collaboration at VItalis, say Hanna Maurin Söderholm and Bengt Arne Sjöqvist from PICTA in unisom. - Our showcase was full of visitors all 3 days and the full-scale demonstrations/simulations at ViPHS were very well-visited. A lot of people learned more about ambulance care and may have even taken a look inside a modern ambulance for the first time. Many visitors also appreciated seeing what eHealth means in reality. Simply put, it was a success!