Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Telemedicine Expands Reach Of Care For Parkinson's Patients

Date:
June 18, 2009
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
A unique and innovative telemedicine project is providing distant nursing home patients with Parkinson's disease access to neurologists. A pilot study of the project demonstrates that the system can improve the quality of life and motor function of patients.

A unique and innovative telemedicine project is providing distant nursing home patients with Parkinson’s disease access to neurologists at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC).A pilot study of the project – the results of which were released this month at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Paris – demonstrates that the system can improve the quality of life and motor function of patients.

Related Articles


“This study shows that we can effectively deliver care for Parkinson’s patients via telemedicine,” said URMC neurologist Ray Dorsey, M.D.“This system enables us to reach and provide a high level of care to patients who might otherwise not have access to a specialist.”

Dorsey and his colleague Kevin Biglan, M.D. oversee the project and divide patient responsibilities between them.The effort is a joint initiative between URMC and the Presbyterian Home for Central New York in New Harford, a 250 bed nursing home near Utica and about 150 miles from Rochester.

When the nursing home opened in 2001, it was the first in the nation to offer specialized care to people with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders in a nursing home setting.For years, the Parkinson’s patients at the home would typically make 10 trips a year to Syracuse, Albany or Rochester to see a movement disorders specialist.Tony Joseph, the administrator of the Presbyterian Home says that these trips were exhausting for the home’s elderly patients. “I knew there had to be a better way,” said Joseph.

Joseph knew of Dorsey and Biglan through their work with the Parkinson Support Group of Upstate New York and approached them to seek their help in devising a solution.They struck an approach that utilized telemedicine to conduct patient visits that otherwise would have been burdensome or not possible for patients.

The expertise for such a project already existed in the Medical Center. URMC has one of the largest Movement and Inherited Neurological Disorders programs in the nation with more than 10 physicians and has been designated a Center of Excellence by the National Parkinson Foundation and the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

The Medical Center has also been an innovator in the field of telemedicine.The system employed for the project was built on a technological backbone developed at URMC and is used to conduct remote pediatric and dental evaluations on patients in schools, day care centers, and other locations.The system is essentially low tech, low cost solution and consists of a laptop, software, and a web camera that allows the physicians to interact with and visually assess patients.

While such remote evaluations have their limitations, Parkinson’s disease was an ideal candidate for such a system. “Parkinson’s is a very visual disease,” said Biglan.“You don’t necessarily have to physically touch patients to understand how they are doing.”

Patients are brought to a room in the nursing home with a flat screen television so they can see the physicians.All the doctors in Rochester require on their end is a computer equipped with a web camera.Telemedicine “visits” are just like regular office visits and consist of an update on the patient’s health, a review of medications, any potential complications, and a standardized motor skills evaluation (balance, gait, coordination, and stiffness) conducted by the physician with the assistance of a trained nurse at the Presbyterian Home.At the end of the visit, recommendations are discussed with the patient and faxed to the nursing home.

An initial pilot project, funded by the Presbyterian Home, followed 14 patients for 6 months and then evaluated the outcomes of those who received telemedicine care with those who did not.The study found that telemedicine patients had significant improvements in quality of life and motor function.In addition, those receiving telemedicine had trends toward higher satisfaction with their care.

The project with the Presbyterian Home was so successful that Joseph decided to continue funding the effort for another year with the help of a grant from New York State. Dorsey and Biglan also hope to expand the project to other nursing homes in upstate New York.One of the key obstacles to the wider adaption of telemedicine for Parkinson’s and other diseases is payment for services.While studies of other projects have shown that telemedicine can reduce the overall cost of care, current reimbursement is limited to specific regions (for example, it excludes New Hartford as not sufficiently rural) and generally does not cover the cost of care provided.

If broadly adopted, telemedicine has the potential to reshape the way individuals with Parkinson’s disease think about their care and, ultimately, where to live. Currently, people often have to live near medical centers to receive the specialty care they need.Telemedicine has the potential to change that.In addition, telemedicine can facilitate the participation of individuals in clinical trials by reducing the travel and time burden on participants and their caregivers.

“The number of people with Parkinson’s will double over the next 25 years,” said Biglan.“This should be a wake up call to the medical community and government to invest in innovative ways to bring care to this population.Telemedicine represents a tremendous opportunity to expand access to specialized care and improve the quality of life of patients regardless of where they live."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "Telemedicine Expands Reach Of Care For Parkinson's Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090617123654.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2009, June 18). Telemedicine Expands Reach Of Care For Parkinson's Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090617123654.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "Telemedicine Expands Reach Of Care For Parkinson's Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090617123654.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins