Newberry Hospital’s Secret Weapon Against Stroke

AVA the Robot and Greenville Health System’s Stroke Experts

Each year thousands of South Carolinians suffer life-changing strokes. It’s called the silent killer because strokes can be difficult to diagnose until after the damage has been done.

Newberry Hospital now has a secret weapon against stroke: a robot named AVA, short for “A Virtual Assistant.” Since April 2013, the four-foot tall robot on wheels has been helping doctors and nurses at Newberry Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) diagnose and treat stroke patients, and in the process, save brain cells and even lives. AVA the robot is part of a partnership between the Greenville Health System (GHS) and Newberry Hospital to provide 24/7 access to GHS neurologists who are experts in stroke care. GHS is the only Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center in the Upstate and South Carolina’s largest health system.

Part of GHS NeuroDirect, AVA the robot serves as the go-between for stroke patients and Newberry Hospital’s ED doctors and nurses and GHS neurologists. The robot’s two-way camera allows a neurologist in Greenville to examine a patient in Newberry Hospital’s ER and ask questions. The Newberry Hospital doctor works with the GHS neurologist to provide the appropriate treatment to the patient.

Patients who’ve seen AVA and the GHS stroke experts are not at all intimidated by talking to a robot. Instead, patients have asked to hug their doctor—even though he’s on a screen!

If you have a church or civic group that would like to schedule a speaker on stroke and AVA the Robot, call 803.405.7425.