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Teleconcussion validated in Mayo Clinic case study
Date:11/18/2012

PHOENIX, Ariz. A program at Mayo Clinic using telemedicine technology is showing promise for patients with concussions in rural Arizona. A case study published in the December 2012 issue of Telemedicine and e-Health validates "teleconcussion" as a useful means to assess concussed patients.

In the case study, doctors at Mayo Clinic in Arizona conducted a live audio-video evaluation of a 15-year-old soccer player in Show Low, Ariz., who received a concussion during a game. The teleconcussion evaluation, believed to be the first in the state to use telemedicine for concussions, supports the use of this technology to bring concussion expertise to rural locations. Similar telestroke, teleneurology, and teleepilepsy programs have been operating at Mayo Clinic in Arizona for several years.

More than one-third of rural Arizona lacks access to the kind of neurological expertise found in metropolitan areas. Mayo Clinic's program aims to address this disparity by providing support through these programs. With telemedicine technology, use of a specialized remote controlled camera system allows the patient in the rural setting to be "seen" by the neurology specialist in real time. The Mayo Clinic neurologist, whose face appears on the screen of the monitor, consults with physicians at the rural sites and evaluates the patient via Internet-based computers.

"When a community doesn't have ready access to providers trained in the recognition and management of concussion, concussed athletes sometimes go unrecognized or returned to play prematurely potentially subjecting them to more serious injuries," says Bert Vargas, M.D., neurologist and assistant professor of Neurology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. "Teleconcussion can help triage patients and help identify which people are in need of additional workup or management. In the case of sport-related concussions, this technology can provide rural physicians with assistance in making decisions about when a
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Contact: Jim McVeigh
mcveigh.jim@mayo.edu
480-301-4222
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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