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In the era of mechanical reperfusion, HEMS can be a powerful instrument for improving acute stroke delivery and research that is currently underutilized. The speed of HEMS may allow reperfusion for a large number of patients that would not have immediate access due to geography or traffic congestion. Also, HEMS critical early time period after a stroke where specific interventions to preserve penumbra and prevent reperfusion injury may have a significant influence on outcomes. The impact of physical factors generated by the helicopter on the ischemic brain needs to be studied. HEMS are also an opportunity to increase recruitment of patients in standard clinical trials. Addressing the HEMS stroke gap is necessary to homogenize the delivery of acute stroke care and research capabilities through all care settings, therefore minimizing disparities in outcomes based in geographical location.

European Stroke Journal Sept 2016