The mobile stroke unit (MSU) are equipped with mobile computed tomography (CT) system and staffed by a registered nurse, paramedic, emergency medicine technician and a CT technologist and laboratory capabilities, which brings the CT to the patient experiencing stroke. All the diagnostic tools and stroke capability that require therapeutic treatment at the site of the emergency are provided by MSU. Mobile stroke treatment units can provide thrombolysis pre hospital setting faster than treatment in the hospital as the on-site treatment crew include vascular neurologist. MSU with telemedicine can eliminate the need for an on-site neurologist making it more resource efficient by relying solely in telemedicine for physician presence.
The use of telemedicine with mobile stroke units is feasible as it reduces the rate of technical failure and provides a possibility for reducing the high cost of such systems. The use of telemedicine, in which the CT scans were analyzed remotely without need for the patient to see a neurologist on-site, assists to speed the time of delivery of critical medication, potentially life-saving, and reduction in manpower requirements and costs. The mobile stroke unit with the innovative imaging capabilities, will be able to sidestep hospital emergency departments and take patients straight to stroke, operating rooms, endovascular suites or neurocritical units.
Stroke primarily occurs due to obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and smoking habits. The factors driving the MSU market are increase in incidence rate of strokes and technological advancement such as use of telemedicine with MSU, government initiatives and funds. With the introduction of MSU the time for transport of patient to the hospital is saved, since on spot diagnosis and immediate treatment can be initiated. In addition, the single specialist team present in MSU, interacts with the various professional groups and assist in the diagnosis and treatment minimizing the requirement of each specialty doctor.
Geographically, the MSU is expected to grow at faster CAGR in North America and Europe with increase in awareness of MSU and number of MSU operating in the region. U.S. is the most potential market due to increase in stroke incidence and research funding. Since the prevalence of stroke is high, the government of developed economies such as the U.S. and countries of Europe have established many initiatives and programs at the national level to increase the awareness among people related to the primary stroke signs.
According to American Stroke Association, nearly 800,000 (approximately 795,000) people in the United States have a stroke every year, with about three in four being first-time strokes. Stroke is the fifth cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 people a year. The only FDA-approved treatment for ischemic stroke, is the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, which must be given within three hours of the first signs of stroke to be most effective, and the earlier the better within that three-hour time frame.
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MSU was first implemented in Europe. According to World Health Organization, stroke is the second leading cause of disability in Europe and is the sixth leading cause worldwide. It is expected to increase due to increasing aging population. Europe averages approximately 650,000 stroke deaths each year. Asia-Pacific is considered as the one of the potential markets due to rise in number of stroke incidences and a corresponding increase in the burden of stroke in Asia. Asia-Pacific account for approximately half of the stoke incidence in the world. With the introduction of MSU, mortality rate can be reduced, time for transport to the hospital has been removed.
The major players operating in this market include NeuroLogica Corporation, MEYTEC GmbH Informationssysteme, Frazer Ltd., Excellance, Inc., Falck A/S, among other significant players worldwide.