Bridging ‘the neurologist gap’ in Parkinson’s via telemedicine

While Max Little’s ’30-second Parkinson’s diagnosis’ [TTA 13 Nov] is still in test, what about current patients and their treatment? Telemedicine (video consults) to the rescue! Neurologist Ray Dorsey, MD of the University of Rochester tested a ‘one free consult’ offer with a group of 55 recruited via networking site PatientsLikeMe, who were located in the five states where he is licensed to practice, using a free, secure conference platform from Vidyo. The single consult (which sounds extended or multi-part: history, neurologic examination, and recommendations) was with patients at various stages ranging from initial evaluation to third opinion. 33 of 35 consecutive patients completed the survey, reporting 90 percent satisfaction and 85 percent the same or better level of personal connection. The study was published in Neurology: Clinical Practice and cited here in Neurology Today. While it bears out the research teams’ conclusion that telemedicine is a vital way to increase access and that “neurologic care to new patients with PD and related disorders directly in their home is feasible, results in recommended changes to care, and is largely well-received.”, such small N studies receiving attention demonstrate how far away large-scale implementation remains. Also MedicalExpress, MedCity News.

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