AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 2, 2020

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For Concussion, MS, Other Neurologic Disorders, Telemedicine May Be as Effective as Office Visit

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For people with many neurologic disorders, seeing the neurologist by video may be as effective as an in-person visit, according to a review of the evidence. The evidence review examined all available studies on use of telemedicine for several neurologic conditions – stroke being one of the conditions that is well-validated and highly utilizes telemedicine. The results indicate that a diagnosis from a neurologist by video for certain neurologic conditions is likely to be as accurate as an in-person visit.

Telemedicine is the use of video conferencing or other technology for doctor visits from another location. The patient could be at home or at a local doctor’s office.

“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,” said lead author Jaime Hatcher-Martin, MD, PhD, who was with Emory University in Atlanta while serving on the American Academy of Neurology’s Telemedicine Work Group, is now with the company SOC Telemed and is a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Another effective use may be for evaluating people with possible concussions, where telemedicine could be used on-site to make an immediate diagnosis. For sports injuries, it could be used to make a decision on whether the athlete is ready to return to the field.”

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