Technology in the form of video consultations, aka telehealth, is providing faster care for people suffering from neurologic disorders. Diagnoses are as accurate as an in-office or at a health care facility.
This development could not have come at a better time. The reason: There is a growing shortage of neurologists in the health care field. Consequently, people who need treatment for dementia, movement disorders, migraines and other neurologic disorders often face long wait times before they can get an appointment. This problem is especially prevalent in rural areas. Moreover, it’s also an issue for senior citizens who have difficulty in getting around.
Technology: An Accurate And Comfortable Solution
A new report published in the journal Neurology, finds video calls may be just as effective as in-office visits for those with a range of neurologic disorders. This information comes from patient and doctor satisfaction ratings in more than 100 neurology-related telemedicine studies.
Physicians have been using video technology, aka telehealth to diagnose and treat stroke for several years. Health care organizations are now looking to increase the use of this technology to diagnose other neurologic conditions — such as concussions and epilepsy.
No Need To Travel
As mentioned, technology already plays a major role for patients who need a neurologist but don’t live close to one. Without telehealth, many people would not see a neurologist or have to travel a great distance to see one.
Connecting over video is also helpful for people with fast-progressing conditions that impact mobility, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Patients can just as easily communicate and demonstrate changes in their condition through a video call to their doctor. No need to leave the house or skilled nursing facility. Plus, allowing the doctor to see the patient in the home setting, or the facility setting,can result in better and faster care.
With all of these great features, nevertheless — technology in the form of video and telehealth is not a total substitute for in-person appointments. Rather, it augments the patients health care protocol.
While, telehealth is rapidly gaining popularity, there are still some administrative kinks to work out. Specifically, reimbursement policies and laws that vary from state to state.
In addition, there is a need to simplify licensing and payment models, while also streamlining cost savings to patients.
These issues are currently being resolved. Once done, treating patients via remote technology will increase rapidly.