CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Many people who suffer from a stroke require a lot of medical attention throughout the course of their recovery. That’s why Dr. Sherita Chapman, a neurologist and assistant professor in the stroke division at UVA Health, has been working on a program for the past three months called, i-Heal, to support patients who are discharged from the hospital virtually.
“We know there are a lot of challenges once a patient returns home who had a stroke,” Chapman said.
Recovering stroke patients in the i-Heal program receive an iPad, a blood pressure monitoring device, and a device that monitors their medication once they leave the hospital.
“All of that information is sent directly to us and recorded within a portal that we have access to daily,” Chapman said.
This allows the doctors to keep track of their patients’ progress during their recovery at home.
“If we notice some huge abnormalities, we can get in contact with them directly. If they’re not keeping track of this data, we can contact them. If they’re not taking their medication we can also contact them,” Chapman said.
Beyond just monitoring physical vitals, Chapman says she can also see how her patients are doing mentally.
“There is also a little cube that monitors their mood because we know that a lot of patients end up suffering from depression after a stroke. That can hinder your recovery, too, so we can keep track of that,” Chapman said.
Chapman says it’s always important to know the signs of a stroke because timing is essential.
“If they notice drooping of one side of the face or arm, if they’re having difficulty getting their words out, or if they’re able to produce words but it seems like nobody is really understanding what they’re saying, if you notice any of those symptoms call 911 as soon as possible,” Chapman said.