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Allegheny Health Network upgrades stroke program video equipment

Ben Schmitt
| Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015, 11:15 p.m.

Allegheny Health Network is beefing up its virtual stroke technology.

Last week, AHN upgraded its so-called telestroke program with wireless, high-definition video equipment in six hospitals: Forbes, Jefferson, West Penn, Allegheny Valley, Heritage Valley Sewickley and Ohio Valley.

Angela Pantelas, AHN's director of telehealth strategy and operations, said the network plans to expand into rural communities by year's end.

Cameras, audio equipment and monitors on portable, wireless carts connect patients and doctors with stroke specialists, who can log in from a mobile device or computer.

Time is paramount in stroke cases, so widespread use of telestroke is improving patient outcomes nationally, said Dr. Tony Farah, chief medical officer for AHN.

β€œIn a stroke situation, if you get to that patient within a short period of time, you can almost get them back to normal or really reduce the disability that could have otherwise happened,” Farah said.

Ben Schmitt is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7997 or bschmitt@tribweb.com.

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