Telestroke: scientific results.
ABSTRACT Telestroke is the application of telemedicine in stroke care. Hence, teleconsultation means the performance of consultation by a remotely located expert through the use of high-quality videoconferencing. Remote evaluation of stroke patients via telemedicine is increasingly utilized, particularly in neurologically underserved areas. It is usually based on video examination and evaluations of brain scans via teleradiology. Scientific analyses have demonstrated the reliability of neurological assessments via videoconference. Teleradiology using electronically transmitted original imaging data is potentially equivalent to onsite assessment. Telemedicine consultation including video examination and teleradiology improves accuracy of acute stroke treatment decisions compared to telephone-based consultation. Telemedicine is already frequently used to extend the benefits of intravenous thrombolysis to patients in nonspecialized hospitals. Beyond thrombolysis, telemedicine can be used for immediate decision making in acute stroke, e.g. for triage of patients who might benefit from interventional treatments not available at the referring hospital. However, improved clinical outcomes of stroke patients have only been investigated and shown when telemedicine was combined with the Stroke Unit concept based on specialized stroke wards and organized stroke care. More scientific evaluation is needed in the fields of cost effectiveness, quality management and implementation of further technological innovations. There are still insufficient data about the use of telemedicine in stroke prevention, rehabilitation and post-stroke care.
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ABSTRACT: Telemedicine is an increasingly recognized option for cost-effective management of chronic conditions. We surveyed Sleep Clinic patients about their experiences and preferences regarding different forms of telemedicine. Adult Sleep Clinic patients seen between 2009 and 2011 received a brief survey either by postal mail (n = 156) or, for those with an available email address, electronically (n = 282). The overall response rate was 28.1% (n = 123 responses), with email response rates being higher than postal mail responses. The most commonly reported barriers to in-person physician visits were parking cost (44%), time away from work/school (34%), and cost of gas (26%). Whereas 89% of respondents indicated using telephone and 55% of respondents indicated using email to communicate with providers, none reported experience with video telemedicine. Despite this lack of experience, over 60% reported feeling comfortable or willing to try it. Of those who were uncomfortable about video telemedicine, the two main reasons were that in-person visits feel more natural (48%) and that the doctor might need to perform an examination (24%). More than half of respondents reported willingness to pay a copay for a video visit. Video telemedicine represents a feasible option for chronic sleep disorders management.ISRN neurology. 01/2012; 2012:135329.