Cardiovascular diseases (heart diseases and stroke) are the leading cause of death in the United States. People living in rural areas have disproportionately high mortality rates due to stroke mainly due to lack of specialty services. Timely intervention is a critical factor in determining the prognosis for acute stroke and thousands of lives can be saved by recognizing/treating a stroke patient within an hour. This paper deals with telestroke, a unique intervention implemented in Louisiana that incorporated latest technology to integrate with advanced clinical protocols in treating acute stroke. People living in remote and rural areas of Louisiana were greatly benefited from this initiative and several lives saved as a result of timely intervention. Expanding these initiatives to larger populations and other states will greatly reduce the stroke mortality.
Key words: Stroke, Telemedicine, Disparities.