Navigation Links
Telemedicine expands reach of care for Parkinson's 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. 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.

"This study shows that we can effectively deliver care for Parkinson's patients via telemedicine," said University of Rochester 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 University of Rochester Medical Center 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. The University of Rochester 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 the University of Rochester 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."


Contact: Mark Michaud
University of Rochester Medical Center

Related medicine news :

1. Polycom and AMD Global Telemedicine Inc. To Deliver Integrated Visual And Voice Telehealth Capability To Clinicians On-The-Go
2. LifeWatch and Verizon Wireless to Expand Healthcare Telemedicine Solutions
3. Roshan Announces Expansion of Afghanistans First Telemedicine Project to Bamyan Region
4. AMD Global Telemedicine Inc., Proud to Announce Diane Castelli, Chair of the American Telemedicine Association's (ATA) Telehealth Nursing Special Interest Group (SIG)
5. Telemedicine may improve care for school children with diabetes
6. AMD Global Telemedicine Inc. to Unveil New Solutions at ATA 2009 Conference in Las Vegas
7. GlobalMedia Launches Telemedicine Product for Ambulatory and Emergency Care
8. American TeleCare to Present its Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN) Option for Cellular Telehealth Connectivity at the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) Annual Meeting
9. AMD Global Telemedicine Inc. Continues Expansion into its 74th Country
10. AMD Global Telemedicine, Inc is Pleased to Announce the Selection of its Examination Camera for the Canadian National Telehealth Videoconference Equipment RFP
11. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and AMD Global Telemedicine Inc. Expand Telemedicine Program Throughout Texas
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Visage accelerates ... a wholly owned subsidiary of Pro Medicus Ltd. (ASX: PME), has announced they ... Society of North America (RSNA) 2015 annual meeting through December 3 in Chicago, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... McLean, VA., December 1, 2015 - Octo ... sprint agile development contract to support the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's (NGA) IT Services ... engineering, infrastructure, as well as operations and sustainment support to the NGA’s Agile ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... TN (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... from the Field for Effective Post-Affiliation Integration ,” addresses a main “pain point” ... to deliver the anticipated results, once a deal is signed. This quick-read ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... With FCPX Overlay: Grit , users can apply a grit effect ... truly endless, all with a click of a mouse. Each user has full control ... of field and more, all within Final Cut Pro X. , With FCPX Overlay: ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... SonaCare Medical congratulates the University College ... Award on November 18th. This prestigious award recognizes annually organizations that cultivate truly ... the medical landscape. , The UCLH team won the award for their innovative ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... ) has ... Systems/Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) Market by Type, ... report to their offering. --> ... "Medical Alert Systems/Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) ... - Global Forecas" report to their offering. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... THE WOODLANDS, Texas , Dec. 1, ... LXRX )  announced today that top-line data ... results of telotristat etiprate in treating carcinoid ... tumors consistent with the clinical benefit observed ... study was designed as a companion to ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... -- North America orthobiologics ... and forecast of revenue. --> North ... concerned market with analysis and forecast of revenue. ... American Orthobiologics Market by Type (Bone Allograft, Bone Graft ... Therapy, Viscosupplementation), by End-User (Hospitals, Point-of-Care Testing) - Analysis ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: