StrokeNet

Networked Intelligence for Holistic Stroke Treatment

Competence Center: Network & Mobility
Contact: Prof. Dr. Sahin Albayrak, Dr. Fikret Sivrikaya, Dipl-Inform. Thomas Geithner
Website: www.strokenet.de
Sponsored by: Zukunftsfonds Berlin, Investitionsbank Berlin
Partners: Charit√© - Universit√§tsmedizin Berlin, MEYTEC GmbH, SMH 19221 Krankentransport GmbH

 

Each year around 300.000 people suffer from a heart stroke (source: German Stroke Society). Thereby the stroke occupies the 3rd place in the statistics of death causes and is the most frequent cause of premature invalidism. The costs of treatment and rehabilitation amount annually to more than 8 milliard Euros in Germany. The time between the acute event and the expert diagnosis determines the loss of the brain tissue and the extent of the consequential damages.

With StrokeNet, the foundations of a qualitative improvement in the real-time diagnosis and therapy of acute stroke patients will be built and its first implementation will be realised, where new mobile communication media will be utilized and integrated into a self-organising, intelligent transport network. The entire domain of acute diagnosis in the case of emergency, the logistic decision for the direction to the adequate clinic as well as the acute treatment in the clinic are at the centre of attraction. To achieve this objective, all partners (operation planning centre, emergency units, the StrokeUnit, cooperation clinics and the telemedicine centre) must be able to communicate with each other and to access the relevant data. The main focus of StrokeNet is on the mobile communication with the ambulances, the transport of the relevant medical data in real time and the establishment of the necessary network services and data communication between the partners during the treatment of strokes.

Goal

The goal of StrokeNet is the improvement of the treatment of stroke patients in emergency and thereby the reduction of consequential damages. Through the networking of diverse competences during the initial treatment at the location of emergency as well as the acute treatment in the hospital, the basis of an optimal treatment process is achieved.

The overall goal of StrokeNet is the establishment of a stroke network with stationary and mobile components for the first time ever. With the generation of the stroke network a system will be developed, which optimizes the treatment of stroke patients already in the location of emergency and in the ambulance through the utilization of ICT and thus contributes to the reduction of the possible consequential damages. The systems to be developed in the framework of the project can be utilized mobile (ambulance) or stationary (operation planning centre, StrokeUnit). Existing infrastructures and previously established organisations in Berlin will be thereby utilised.

Implementation

In StrokeNet, innovative solutions will be implemented in order to integrate new mobile network technologies such as GPRS, UMTS, WiMAX or WLAN into a self-organising, intelligent transport network. Furthermore, different techniques for the real-time, reliable transport of audio, video, and vital data will be developed to meet the requirements of medical applications.

Internet protocols will be utilized as the foundation of the overall communication in StrokeNet. IP data transport will be available for all physical transport methods and all necessary applications will be able to communicate via IP. The aspects of availability and security are of primary importance. In this regard, mobile IP is assigned special tasks, since it has to provide seamless connectivity over a variety of underlying transport methods and services and has to take their characteristics into account.

Project StrokeNet will break new ground with the real mobile transport of sensitive medical data through the Internet. To this end, known and available mobile data transport methods will be utilized both in parallel as well as alternatively. Due to the principal error-proneness of wireless networks, it is preferable to utilize two alternative transport methods in parallel, such that a temporary lack of availability of a single connection does not result in the loss of the communication. In order to overcome the problem of narrow bandwidth, the transport platform has to be able to perform prioritization and traffic shaping.

An important aspect of the project is the quick and autonomous establishment of connections via mobile Internet access technologies. To achieve this objective, diverse information regarding the surroundings of the mobile node will be processed in order to determine the communication choices currently at hand (self-awareness, policy based access). Therefore, continuous QoS measurements along the route, the quick identification of communication problems as well as the ability to tear down a low quality connection are some of the required means to achieve an overall improvement of the communication status.