Patients can save crucial time in getting to the hospital
Stroke is one of the top three non-communicable diseases causing Thai deaths every year. Stroke patients who reach the hospital within 270 minutes have a chance of being cured. But in past years, few have been able to reach the hospital within that time frame.
Khon Kaen University’s department of medicine has initiated a “stroke fast track” with the launch of the “Stroke KKU” system to help stroke patients and their relatives to get in touch with hospitals and Emergency Medical Service System (EMS) 1669 centres in an emergency.
Dr Somsak Tiamkao, a lecturer in the department, said Stroke KKU came as both a mobile application and a Web-based service.
The mobile app is designed to be easy to use. It is now available for iOS and Android platforms.
The app provides not only information about every hospital in the country but also which ones provide thromboclasis treatment, and where they are. Thromboclasis is a procedure to dissolve a thrombus, a stationary blood clot that can cause a stroke.
The app also provides information on how people can check themselves for stroke risk.
To get the app for a smartphone, people are required to register with their names, identity numbers, contact numbers, and their relatives’ contact information in case of emergency.
Once they need help, they just open the app and use the alert feature to inform EMS 1669. The Emergency Medical Service will be alerted and then coordinate with the appropriate hospital while sending an ambulance.
Meanwhile, the hospital and EMS centre are provided with a Web-based service linked with the Stroke KKU application. They will be alerted once people ask for help via the app. Then they can immediately send an ambulance to get the patient to the hospital quickly.
This initiative aims to increase the number of stroke patients who can reach a hospital within 270 minutes to get thromboclasis treatment in time.
“Generally, around 50 per cent of stroke patients can be cured by getting treatment in time,” Somsak said.
The Stroke KKU system will be available in Khon Kaen province first for a trial period in order ensure the app functions properly, and then it will be offered throughout the country.
This app is a collaboration of the Khon Kaen University’s Department of Medicine and the National Institute for Emergency Medicine, operator of EMS 1669.
The Stroke KKU application and the Web-based system were developed by Digix Technology, a software company in Khon Kaen province.
Disakul Waidee, founder and chief executive officer of Digix Technology, said the company worked closely with the doctors, and after getting information from EMS 1669 and the hospitals, they spent two months developing the app.
The Stroke KKU Web-based application, at www.1669stroke.com, has one database but two groups of users, the hospitals and the EMS1669. They both will be alerted when patients send an emergency alert.
The app developer
Established five years ago, Digix Technology mainly provides software development for corporates. Most of its customers are in Bangkok.
The company has three main products: MoMag, Bookish and Dropthing. MoMag and Bookish are publishing platforms for magazines and books, respectively, while Dropthing is a tracking system for logistics businesses.
MoMag and Bookisk can be both bookshelf and standalone apps, in PDF and interactive formats. MoMag generates revenue from monthly fees, and Bookish from licence fees. Dropthing generates revenue from transaction fees. Currently, two logistics businesses, KWC Logistic and Niko’s, use the Dropthing service.
Disakul said that this year, the company targeted revenue of more than Bt10 million, up from Bt9 million in 2014.
“We have 14 people in our team, all in Khon Kaen province and nearby areas. Being [outside Bangkok] for a software business does not matter. It is good for us, since we have very low employee turnover,” Disakul said.
“Next year, we will have a new project that is expected to be able to scale up our business.”