People with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their caregivers appear to be just as satisfied with a video evaluation given by a neurologist using telemedicine as they have been with those done through an in-person visit, a review from the American Academy of Neurology reports.
Telemedicine allows a patient to connect with a doctor through a secure video conference or another technology in real time. Such visits are similar to a traditional visits with a doctor, except that the doctor will be evaluating and speaking via a screen.
Telemedicine is becoming increasingly common due to its ease of use, as the patient could be at home or almost anywhere when an appointment is scheduled.
“Telemedicine can be especially helpful for people with epilepsy, who may not be able to drive to appointments, people with neurologic disorders like multiple sclerosis and movement disorders, who may have mobility issues that make getting to a clinic difficult, and, of course, for people in rural areas who may not be able to see a neurologist based hours away without making that trip,” Jaime Hatcher-Martin, MD, PhD, the study’s first author and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, said in a press release.
“Another effective use may be for evaluating people with possible concussions … For sports injuries, it could be used to make a decision on whether the athlete is ready to return to the field,” added Hatcher-Martin, who works with the acute care company SOC Telemed.
Stroke patients have made the most use of telemedicine for their clinical neurologic assessments for at least 10 years. But strong evidence is lacking for people needing other areas of neurology.
Researchers with the American Academy of Neurology reviewed published data evaluating the role of telemedicine in the care of patients with neurological diseases other than stroke.
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