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Telestroke for acute ischaemic stroke: A systematic review of economic evaluations and a de novo cost–utility analysis for a middle income country
journal contributionposted on 2021-07-22, 00:00 authored by Elise TanElise Tan, Lan GaoLan Gao, Michelle TranMichelle Tran, D Cadilhac, C Bladin, Marj MoodieMarj Moodie
Introduction Telemedicine can alleviate the problems faced in rural settings in providing access to specialist stroke care. The evidence of the cost-effectiveness of this model of care outside high-income countries is limited. This study aimed to conduct: (a) a systematic review of economic evaluations of telestroke and (b) a cost–utility analysis of telestroke, using China as a case study. Methods We systematically searched Embase, Medline Complete and Cochrane databases. Inclusion criteria: full economic evaluations of telemedicine/telestroke networks examining the use of thrombolysis in patients with acute ischaemic stroke, published in English. A cost–utility analysis was undertaken using a Markov model incorporating a decision tree to simulate the delivery of telestroke for acute ischaemic stroke in rural China, compared to no telestroke from a societal and healthcare perspective. One-way deterministic sensitivity analyses and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to test the robustness of results. Results Of 559 publications found, eight met the eligibility criteria and were included in the systematic review (two cost-effectiveness analyses and six cost–utility analyses, all performed in high-income countries). Telestroke was a cost-saving/cost-effective intervention in five out of the eight studies. In our modelled analysis for rural China, telestroke was the dominant strategy, with estimated cost savings of Chinese yuan 4,328 (US$627) and additional 0.0925 quality-adjusted life years per patient. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the base case results. Discussion Consistent with published economic evaluations of telestroke in other jurisdictions, telestroke represents a cost-effective solution to enhance stroke care in rural China.