Purpose of Review
The prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), is rising as the global population ages. Access to specialist care, which improves outcomes, is insufficient and disease-related disability makes in-person physician visits burdensome. Telehealth is one potential means for improving access to care. The purpose of this manuscript is to review recent publications on telemedicine in AD and PD.
Telemedicine is feasible in AD and PD and acceptable to patients and their caregivers. Compared with in-person visits, telemedicine reduces visit-associated travel and time. Telemedicine can be used for rehabilitative therapies, to administer cognitive tests, and to support caregivers. Access to telemedicine results in changes in patient care including medication adjustments and referrals for therapies and supports.
The use of telemedicine in AD and PD stands to decrease burden on patients and increases access to specialty care. Barriers to the expansion of telemedicine care include lack of widespread broadband access, state licensure requirements, and inconsistent reimbursement. More outcome-based prospective telemedicine studies are needed.
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Adams, J.L., Myers, T.L., Waddell, E.M. et al. Telemedicine: a Valuable Tool in Neurodegenerative Diseases. Curr Geri Rep 9, 72–81 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13670-020-00311-z
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s dementia
- Virtual visits
- Healthcare disparities