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illustration of brain tumor

Teleneurology Offers a Second Look at Brain Tumors

A diagnosis of a brain tumor often brings fear and lengthy travel to a far-away specialist for a second opinion. The fear is understandable, but a teleneurology program is making strides in bringing brain tumor diagnoses and treatment options to the patient, rather than bringing the patient to the doctor. The Penn Brain Tumor Center has launched their Brain Tumor Second Opinion Program to help patients and caregivers understand the diagnosis and choose among treatment plans without traveling long distances. Read more

stressed woman at table with help sign

College Telepsychiatry Finally Catching Up—Slowly

The majority of American college students feel overwhelmed, depressed, and/or anxious, according to the latest American College Health Association survey. Unfortunately, many schools lack easy access to needed mental health care—if they have any at all. And this doesn’t even take into account the students’ hesitation to seek help due to the stigma often associated with mental illnesses. With the growth of telemedicine, telepsychiatry and telemental health present a viable solution that could overcome many of these challenges. Read more

elderly woman at home on telemedicine visit

New Budget Deal Boosts Telemedicine Coverage

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump signed into law a bipartisan budget deal that impacts Medicare’s telemedicine coverage more than any past legislation, as described by one senator. After a brief government shutdown, Congress approved a two-year budget deal including parts of the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act, the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act, and the Increasing Telehealth Access to Medicare Act. Read more

elder lady sitting with a walker

UC Riverside Testing MS Telemedicine

Telemedicine is already in use to help patients with stroke treatment or debilitating chronic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease; now, a study is exploring whether the platform can work for patients with multiple sclerosis. The University of California Riverside was awarded a $100,000 grant from biotech firm Genentech to set up a one-year pilot program in order to determine whether an MS telemedicine visit can replace office visits for patients who have difficulties with travel. Read more

elderly man with walker trying to stand

Telemedicine for Movement Disorders Is Well-Received

A professor at Emory University is finding great success in using telemedicine for movement disorders. Recently, Jaime Hatcher-Martin, MD, PhD, a movement disorders specialist at Emory University Hospital, was asked about her experiences with telemedicine. Having founded Emory’s movement disorders telemedicine clinic, Hatcher-Martin is ready to offer guidance to clinicians who are interested in telemedicine. Read more

woman with headache

Teleneurology Safe and Effective for Evaluating Headaches

A neurologist can safely evaluate a patient’s headaches using telemedicine, according to research published recently in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). The non-inferiority study found that patients who used teleneurology had the same outcomes as patients who visited a neurologist in-person. Read more

youth football player

Teleneurology Can Deliver Real-Time Concussion Care to Young Athletes

Each year, up to 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries occur—over 75 percent of which are sports-related. Although the professional and elite levels are addressing the issue, many youth and collegiate programs can’t keep concussion specialists on hand to provide an immediate response on the sidelines. A recent study, spearheaded by Mayo Clinic, explored whether telemedicine technology could be used by concussion specialists to assess players’ conditions in real time. Although teleneurology has already been shown to be effective for evaluating and treating acute neurologic conditions such as stroke, concussion management is a new territory. Read more

illustration of man having stroke

Telestroke Bill Would Expand Medicare Coverage

Congress is revisiting a bill that seeks to extend Medicare reimbursement for telestroke services across the nation. Under the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act, Medicare would cover telestroke services regardless of the patient’s location; currently, coverage only encompasses specific rural areas. Read more

Elderly man using telemedicine for speech therapy on tablet computer

Telemedicine for Speech Therapy Preserves Language Skills

At Northwestern University, telemedicine for speech therapy is helping dementia patients improve deteriorating language skills. As neurodegenerative illnesses progress, patients often struggle with recalling names and words, such as a grandchild’s name or the appropriate words for ordering lunch. After completing an eight-week course of therapy sessions and home assignments, study participants demonstrated a significant improvement in recalling troublesome words; after six months, the improvement remained. Read more

A passerby helps a woman with stroke.

New Standards Published for Telestroke Programs

For the first time, official guidelines have been published for the use of telemedicine in potential stroke cases. The American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA) recently released a joint scientific statement describing quality measures and outcomes for telestroke. The document was prepared in response to the rapid growth of telestroke over the past decade. Now, hospitals can quantitatively measure their telestroke programs against these standards in order to ensure they are providing high quality care. Read more