Teleneurology applications Report of the Telemedicine Work Group of the American Academy of Neurology

Department of Neurology and Downstate Stroke Center (S.R.L.), The State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn
Neurology (Impact Factor: 8.29). 02/2013; 80(7):670-676. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182823361
Source: PubMed


To review current literature on neurology telemedicine and to discuss its application to patient care, neurology practice, military medicine, and current federal policy.

Review of practice models and published literature on primary studies of the efficacy of neurology telemedicine.

Teleneurology is of greatest benefit to populations with restricted access to general and subspecialty neurologic care in rural areas, those with limited mobility, and those deployed by the military. Through the use of real-time audio-visual interaction, imaging, and store-and-forward systems, a greater proportion of neurologists are able to meet the demand for specialty care in underserved communities, decrease the response time for acute stroke assessment, and expand the collaboration between primary care physicians, neurologists, and other disciplines. The American Stroke Association has developed a defined policy on teleneurology, and the American Academy of Neurology and federal health care policy are beginning to follow suit.

Teleneurology is an effective tool for the rapid evaluation of patients in remote locations requiring neurologic care. These underserved locations include geographically isolated rural areas as well as urban cores with insufficient available neurology specialists. With this technology, neurologists will be better able to meet the burgeoning demand for access to neurologic care in an era of declining availability. An increase in physician awareness and support at the federal and state level is necessary to facilitate expansion of telemedicine into further areas of neurology.

1 Follower
24 Reads
  • Source
    • "Standardized data collection was performed at each site using a Web-based form with 37 multiple-choice questions using REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) electronic data capture tools (Wechsler et al., 2013) hosted at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute . Descriptive statistics are presented as medians and interquartile ranges (IQRs) for continuous variables and as counts and percentages for categorical variables. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Survey data indicate that continuous electroencephalography (EEG) (CEEG) monitoring is used with increasing frequency to identify electrographic seizures in critically ill children, but studies of current CEEG practice have not been conducted. We aimed to describe the clinical utilization of CEEG in critically ill children at tertiary care hospitals with a particular focus on variables essential for designing feasible prospective multicenter studies evaluating the impact of electrographic seizures on outcome. Eleven North American centers retrospectively enrolled 550 consecutive critically ill children who underwent CEEG. We collected data regarding subject characteristics, CEEG indications, and CEEG findings. CEEG indications were encephalopathy with possible seizures in 67% of subjects, event characterization in 38% of subjects, and management of refractory status epilepticus in 11% of subjects. CEEG was initiated outside routine work hours in 47% of subjects. CEEG duration was <12 h in 16%, 12-24 h in 34%, and >24 h in 48%. Substantial variability existed among sites in CEEG indications and neurologic diagnoses, yet within each acute neurologic diagnosis category a similar proportion of subjects at each site had electrographic seizures. Electrographic seizure characteristics including distribution and duration varied across sites and neurologic diagnoses. These data provide a systematic assessment of recent CEEG use in critically ill children and indicate variability in practice. The results suggest that multicenter studies are feasible if CEEG monitoring pathways can be standardized. However, the data also indicate that electrographic seizure variability must be considered when designing studies that address the impact of electrographic seizures on outcome.
    Epilepsia 07/2013; 54(8). DOI:10.1111/epi.12261 · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This Review focuses on the application of telemedicine to the care of patients with acute stroke (telestroke), from the prehospital setting through hospitalization. Telestroke has grown remarkably in the past decade and has entered mainstream care for patients with acute stroke. Telestroke enables such patients to be remotely evaluated, thereby allowing optimal treatment and management even in clinically underserved areas and removing geographical disparities in access to expert care. Telestroke systems enable thrombolytic treatment to be administered in community and rural hospitals, and facilitate the appropriate transfer of patients with complex conditions (who require critical care services and neurosurgical or intra-arterial interventions) to a comprehensive stroke centre. Decision-analytic models show that telestroke is cost-effective from both a societal and a hospital perspective. Limitations to the use of telestroke in the USA include the need for state licensing and credentialling of physicians, and the technical requirements of a minimum network bandwidth (which is still lacking in some regions). However, the opportunity exists for telestroke to become the backbone of an electronic stroke unit and to be used to identify and enrol patients in clinical trials of acute stroke treatment. The use of telestroke in the prehospital setting has been hampered by limited telecommunication availability, but these problems might be mitigated by fourth-generation cellular data networks.
    Nature Reviews Neurology 05/2013; 9(6). DOI:10.1038/nrneurol.2013.86 · 15.36 Impact Factor

  • Neurology: Clinical Practice (Print) 06/2013; 3(3):202-204. DOI:10.1212/CPJ.0b013e318296f130
Show more