The Future of Stroke Care Is Here


By Jennifer Speer

Dr. Ronnie Karayan.

Dr. Ronnie Karayan.

Have you heard of robots working in hospitals?

Telestroke robots have been dispatched to four San Fernando Valley hospitals to provide a new level of stroke expertise from the neurosciences team at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.

Under a new partnership, Providence Saint Joseph will work with community hospitals – as well as sister hospital Providence Tarzana Medical Center – to visit virtually with patients and coordinate treatment.

“This is the future of specialty medicine,” said neurologist Ronnie Karayan, M.D., Stroke Center Medical Director for the Hycy and Howard Hill Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint Joseph. “This entire program is about vastly improving outcomes for patients and their local hospitals.”

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.

Providence Saint Joseph’s Hycy and Howard Hill Neuroscience Institute is the leader in stroke care. On Wednesday, May 29, Karayan and regional director Patrice Hallak will hold a community Stroke Prevention lecture in Burbank.

Did you know 88% of strokes are preventable? Before, I thought having a stroke was very much like a lightening strike. At the lecture, they will cover immediate stroke care and prevention, and will perform screenings as well. They want you to be informed, to feel empowered. They want to show you pathways to prevention.

After the lecture, you’ll be better armed to deal with things like high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, smoking cessation, etc. You’ll be able to check out your own stats and see where you fall for your age and health, and get firsthand information, guidance, and advice on the next step for your own preventative healthcare.

The telestroke robots have a mapping technology that allows the doctor to direct the robot to various patients on a single unit. It’s a completely interpersonal interface. These computers, Karayan informed me, can focus in to such a terrifically amplified degree on a facial feature or an iris or eye movement that doctors can tell almost instantly whether a patient is suffering from a stroke.

Telestroke is a nationally recognized program that’s gaining traction worldwide and has the potential to help millions of people that don’t realize they’ve experienced a stroke or stroke symptoms. The level of care and attention is such higher quality because with the robot you are now able to connect with a trained specialist – wherever you are.

Because when you are making those decisions that could affect the outcome of your life, the doctor knows best.

Come to a free Stroke Prevention lecture and screening event on Wednesday, May 29, from 6—7:30 p.m. PSJMC will provide free cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, and stroke risk assessments. RSVP by calling 1-888-HEALING (432-5464). Free parking and refreshments will also be provided.

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center is located at 501 S. Buena Vista St. in Burbank.

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