Digital strategies encouraging for emergency stroke, heart care
The statement covers visual media, mobile devices, crowdsourcing and social media as potential strategies for improving treatments. The AHA believes that these social technologies can improve treatments for emergency patients.
“When seconds count, early recognition of the symptoms of cardiac arrest, heart attack or stroke and quick action can make a huge difference in whether someone lives or dies or has serious complications afterwards,” Raina Merchant, director of the Social Media Lab at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation and co-author of the new scientific statement, said. “Digital platforms can support existing efforts to educate people about what to do in an emergency. Learning what to do -- including how to perform CPR and recognizing the symptoms of stroke -- is something many people can do that can save lives.”
Even though the digital strategies have proven useful, there must be further evidence of their efficacy and safety. Potential danger lies in patients' giving or receiving inaccurate information, causing harm, higher costs and medical mistakes.
“As many of these interventions are new and emerging, it is an optimal time to conduct rigorous evaluations just as are done for traditional medical therapies and interventions,” Merchant said.