Identifying Stroke Mimics with Mobile Technology

The Brief

Within Greater Manchester there can be up to 6000 strokes a year, with a further 6000 non-stroke patients arriving on the stroke pathway with symptoms mimicking a stroke. Salford Royal Foundation Trust (SRFT) alone admitted 2021 patients with suspected stroke during the financial year 2016/2017, with 578 of these admissions being stroke mimics (21%).

The idea for the app was born during a Health Innovation Manchester’s “Mobilise the NHS” hackathon to develop a simple and quick to use digital decision support tool for NW Ambulance Crews based on existing paper pathways.

Our Response

We worked in true partnership with the Greater Manchester Stroke Operational Delivery Network (GMSODN), SRFT and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) to develop the idea and bring it to life.

The app presents paramedics with a clear flowchart to follow, when attending a potential stroke patient, and provides advice around the most appropriate care organisation for stabilisation and assessment to ensure the patient receives the right and prompt treatment.

The app works across all devices and in both an online and offline state. The app has the capability not only to support the stroke pathway but also pathways such as cardiac, trauma and possibly more.

The Outcome

The app was tested with 74 NWAS clinicians and the results were overwhelming with fewer false positive patients being taken to the specialist stroke unit. It is currently being deployed in NWAS vehicles across the Greater Manchester region, with plans to deploy across the whole of the North West.

The app leads to improved patient experience, where they will receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place. NWAS crews benefit from better resource management and deployment as well as a reduction of stroke mimics being presented to hyper acute centres.

In September 2018, all involved in the project received an Informatics Award for Collaboration for ‘Identifying Stroke Mimics Using Mobile Technology’ – something we are extremely proud of.