MEET ALLE—The Alleghany High School Health Promotion Club helped name the new robot, Alle (pronounced 'Allie') at a recent unveiling event at the Alleghany Memorial Hospital Solarium. Photo by Coby LaRue
Robot will offer stroke support
By COBY LaRUE
A new physician may be found roaming the emergency department at Alleghany Memorial Hospital, assisting victims of stroke. However, while this physician is visiting patients in the ER, he or she will physically be located in Winston-Salem.
AMH is only the fourth hospital in the state to receive a robot for remote medicine, named Alle (pronounced Allie) in honor of Alleghany.
Members of the Alleghany High School Health Promotion Club were on hand at the robot's unveiling and were invited to submit names for consideration. The name eventually chosen was the suggestion of AHS Senior Lauren Linker.
The device was paid for through a lease agreement by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center as an outreach of its comprehensive stroke center. The outreach, known as telestroke consulting, will prevent patients from being transferred unnecessarily, said a N.C. Baptist Hospital spokesperson. It also extends the reach of the larger hospital's clinicians, all of which are Board Certified Neurologists who can best identify early stroke symptoms and prescribe treatments before permanent health damage is suffered.
Also receiving robots were Lexington Memorial Hospital, Wilkes Regional Hospital and Ashe Memorial Hospital.
A total of about 300 of the robots have been deployed at hospitals nationwide under the care of various regional medical centers in numerous states.
Not only is there no charge to the hospital for the robot, patients also will not be charged for services rendered by doctors via the device. There are seven states where doctors are compensated for work through telemedicine, but North Carolina is not included on that list.