Teleneurointensive Care Unit (TeleneuroICU): Expanding the Reach of Subspecialty NeuroICU Care



Teleneurointensive care unit (“TeleneuroICU”) evaluation entails audiovisual (AV) remote assessment of neurocritical care patients or intensive care unit (ICU) patients with neurological issues warranting a neurological consultation. Inherent to the TeleneuroICU examination is a review of vital signs, clinical findings such as level of consciousness, pupillary size and reactivity, extraocular movements, motor function, neurological deficits, and basic sensory functions. The neurologic examination for TeleneuroICU, however, must be adapted to the current limitations of the technology. Compared to telestroke for tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) considerations and use of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Stroke Scale, TeleneuroICU examinations are more difficult than a bedside neurological examination because the neurologist cannot directly examine the patient. Common causes for TeleneuroICU consultations include coma, stroke, seizure, neurological prognostication after cardiac arrest or traumatic brain injury, weakness, and abnormal movements in ICU patients. To perform TeleneuroICU consultations effectively, a bedside nurse is often used to complete additional parts of the neurological examination, and to review “paraclinical” data essential for adequate assessment, such as neuroimaging and laboratory studies, vital signs, and electroencephalography (EEG) data. The ability of the hub teleneurointensivist to function in critical care settings depends upon the quality and reliability of the video and robotic equipment at the spoke, and upon the technical and communications skills of the assistants and nursing personnel at the spoke. Robotic AV equipment suitable for the assessment of total neurologic function is under constant development. Due to the growing shortage of neurointensivists and neurologists to evaluate ICU patients, we predict an increasing demand for TeleneuroICU consultations.


Intensive Care Unit Patient Bedside Nurse Intensive Care Unit Nurse Neurocritical Care Patient General Intensive Care Unit Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Conflict of Interest and Disclosure

WF and KV report no financial conflicts of interest or pertinent disclosures related to this work. FR discloses receiving travel stipend and registration fees for the 2012 InTouch Health Remote Presence Clinical Innovations Forum and salary support from the American Heart Association (AHA 12CRP12050342).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • William D. Freeman
    • 1
  • Fred Rincon
    • 2
  • Kenneth A. Vatz
    • 3
  1. 1.Departments of NeurologyNeurosurgery, and Critical Care, Mayo ClinicJacksonvilleUSA
  2. 2.Thomas Jefferson University HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyCommunityHealthChicagoUSA

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