AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 3, 2017

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Is Parkinson’s Care via Telemedicine as Effective as Going to the Clinic?

For people with Parkinson’s disease, seeing a neurologist by video conference from their homes may be as effective as their usual in-person care with their local physician.

“Over 40 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease never receive care from a neurologist, yet studies have shown that people who see a neurologist are less likely to be hospitalized with illnesses related to Parkinson’s disease, have greater independence and are less likely to die prematurely,” said study author Ray Dorsey, MD, of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “We wanted to see if virtual house calls would be feasible for people with Parkinson’s disease.” He says this study is the first national randomized controlled trial of telemedicine to connect remote specialists to patients directly in their homes.

Dorsey said, “People were very interested in taking part in this study, and the results showed that these virtual house calls were feasible for people with Parkinson’s disease. People’s care was as effective as with the in-office visits, and the virtual house calls provided the participants with convenience and comfort.”

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