A teleneurology medicine programme introduced by the Forsyth Medical Center in the US will help rural and small suburban hospitals provide a higher level of emergency stroke and critical neurology care.

The programme allows medical staff at participating hospitals in North Carolina and Virginia to connect with highly trained neurologists using videoconferencing technology at the patient’s bedside.

These hospitals will be able to have real-time physician-to-physician consultation to quickly determine the best course of treatment for patients requiring emergency or advanced neurological care.

Forsyth Medical Center medical director of stroke and neurocritical care Cheré Chase said the programme will strengthen stroke care services.

“We can now quickly bring world-class emergency stroke and critical neurology care to hospitals that may lack 24/7 on-call neurologists or that want to strengthen their primary stroke care services,” Chase said.

Participating community hospitals will be linked with FMC and Specialists On Call, an organisation of speciality trained, community and university neurologists.

The programme is aimed at reducing the need to transfer patients to a comprehensive stroke centre.

The programme will also include rapid access to consultation for patients with conditions such as aneurysms, brain tumours, concussions, epilepsy and other conditions that can affect the head and spine.