Satellite Ultrasound for Rural Stroke (SURS)

Satellite Ultrasound for Rural Stroke (SURS)


06 January 2014 - 30 September 2014


Around 13,000 people across Scotland have a stroke each year – it is the most common cause of severe physical disability among adults and the third most common cause of death. Around one quarter of stroke patients are under 65 years old.

The outcome for many stroke patients could potentially be improved if they receive timely treatment. Rapid response to stroke is problematic in remote and rural areas worldwide.

It can take a considerable period of time for an ambulance to reach patients, then more time to transport patients to a centre of definitive care. ‘Time is brain’; the longer that parts of the brain are starved of oxygen the poorer the patient’s long-term prognosis will be.


The aim of this telemedicine project is to develop a technology demonstrator of an appropriate ultrasound machine streaming transcranial images wirelessly to a novel communications hub, which then sends these data via any available communication modality (including satellite) to a remote location for real-time review.

We will also carry out a pilot study, sending ultrasound images from a sample of sites across the Highlands of Scotland to a remote clinician for scanning technique advice and review. The focus of the project is on the early, rapid assessment of patients in the pre-hospital environment (e.g. by ambulance clinicians), and if this can be done safely and reliably then pre-hospital treatment options could be possible in the future.

Involved Partners

  • NHS Highland
  • SAS
  • Health Science Solutions
  • Tactical Wireless
  • Ultrasound manafacturers (Philips, BK Medical)


Eadie LH, Mort AJ, Regan LA, MacAden A & Wilson PMJ. Rural health care: problems and solutions. British Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2014; 75: 304-305.

Eadie LH & Mort A. Satellite ultrasound supports stroke victims in remote areas.
The Conversation 8 May 2014

Mort A, Regan L, Eadie L, MacAden A, Wilson P, Heaney D, Bouamrane M-M. Remotely guided pre-hospital ultrasound for stroke in remote areas: an emerging research agenda. Transfer & Retrieval Conference, April 2014.

Eadie LH, Mort AJ, Regan LA, MacAden A, Heaney DJ, Bouamrane M-M & Wilson PMJ. Pre-hospital ultrasound for stroke: real-time communication technology to facilitate expert guided support for remote and rural communities. Scottish School of Primary Care Annual Conference, April 2014.


  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)
  • The UK Space and Life Sciences Catapult
  • Dot.rural (The University of Aberdeen’s rural Digital Economy Hub, funded by RCUK)
  • TAQA Bratani


Dr Alasdair Mort | 01463 255 886 |


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