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.
During the two-year study, athletes with suspected concussions were examined by specialists both in person and remotely through the use of a telemedicine robot. The scoring revealed strong agreement by the evaluators and 100 percent agreement on the key decision: removal from play. These results suggest that neurologists may be able to manage concussions, make advisements on removal from play decisions, and provide improved concussion care to collegiate and youth athletes.
To read the study, visit Neurology here.