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The Promise of Telemedicine for Movement Disorders: an Interdisciplinary Approach

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Advances in technology have expanded telemedicine opportunities covering medical practice, research, and education. This is of particular importance in movement disorders (MDs), where the combination of disease progression, mobility limitations, and the sparse distribution of MD specialists increase the difficulty to access. In this review, we discuss the prospects, challenges, and strategies for telemedicine in MDs.

Recent Findings

Telemedicine for MDs has been mainly evaluated in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and compared to in-office care is cost-effective with similar clinical care, despite the barriers to engagement. However, particular groups including pediatric patients, rare MDs, and the use of telemedicine in underserved areas need further research.

Summary

Interdisciplinary telemedicine and tele-education for MDs are feasible, provide similar care, and reduce travel costs and travel time compared to in-person visits. These benefits have been mainly demonstrated for PD but serve as a model for further validation in other movement disorders.

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Fig. 1

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Acknowledgments

To Drew Whalen for editorial assistance.

Telemedicine task Force Members of the International Parkinson´s disease and Movement Disorders Society

1. Bajwa J, Director, Parkinson´s, Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration National Neuroscience Institute King Fahad Medical City Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

2. Bloem BR, Radboud university medical center; Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour; Department of Neurology; Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

3. Galifianakis NB, Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.

4. Gatto E, Instituto de Neurociencias Buenos Aires, INEBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

5. Goetz CG, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA.

6. Katz M, Neurology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif., USA.

7. Pantelyat A, Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

8. Tanner C, Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center, Neurology, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California, USA. Department of Neurology, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.

9. Spindler M, Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

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Correspondence to E. Cubo.

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Browne P, Chan P, Cubo E, Guttman M, Hassan A, Hatcher JM, Moukheiber E, Okubadejo NU, Shalash A, Bajwa J, Bloem BR, Galifianakis N, Gatto E, Goetz CG, Katz M, Mari Z, Pantelyat A, Tanner C, and Spindler M declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ben-Pazi H is the founder of NeuroCan LTD, providing accessible neurological services including teleNeurology clinics.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Movement Disorders.

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Ben-Pazi, H., Browne, P., Chan, P. et al. The Promise of Telemedicine for Movement Disorders: an Interdisciplinary Approach. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 18, 26 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11910-018-0834-6

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Keywords

  • Telemedicine
  • Movement disorders
  • Telehealth
  • Tele-education