Grant funds telemedicine for brain aneurysm

A grant of $150,000 has been awarded by a charitable foundation to fund a telemedicine click to enlargeprogramme to help patients with brain aneurysms. The grant from The Missy Project, a Texas non-profit founded in 1999 after the sudden death of 12-year old Marisa (Missy) Magel due to a brain aneurysm, is being awarded to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital Center for Telehealth.

The funding will enable brain aneurysm patients in northern New England to have rapid access to neurovascular specialists, according to Dartmouth-Hitchcock. This will be achieved through telemedicine platforms to access the specialists at Dartmouth-Hitchcock from local facilities and community hospitals in what will be virtual aneurysm clinics. Once a patient has had a CT scan they will be able to proceed to a specialist consultation faster and more conveniently under this programme. In addition to virtual aneurysm clinics, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock project will include a 24/7 emergency department telemedicine acute consult service for pediatric and adult patients with suspected subarachnoid hemorrhage (which accounts for half of all hemorrhagic strokes), and customized educational video content, according to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

The number of deaths each year in the United States due to brain aneurysms  is estimated to be 32,000, more than either AIDS or prostate cancer, according to The Missy Project and an estimated 1 in 50 people, or 6 million people in the US have an unruptured brain aneurysm according to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, so this project brings telemedicine to an important area.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Center for Telehealth was awarded nearly a $1M from the USDA in February this year (see USDA invests $16M in distance learning and telemedicine) to deploy telemedicine equipment and services in New Hampshire and Vermont.

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