Telemedicine Saves Travel and Time for Patients with Parkinson Disease

April 13, 2013
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Wonder if Michael use telemedicine?

A randomized clinical trial of 20 patients with Parkinson disease by E. Ray Dorsey, M.D., M.B.A., of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, and colleagues suggests that telemedicine visits could save patients, on average, 100 miles of travel and three hours of time.

The 7-month study at patients’ homes and outpatient clinics at two academic medical centers sought to examine the feasibility, effectiveness and economic benefits of using web-based videoconferencing (telemedicine) to provide specialty care to patients with Parkinson disease at their homes. 

The 20 patients were assigned to telemedicine (n=9) or in-person care (n=11). While patients in the telemedicine group saved miles of travel and hours of time, “the change in quality of life did not differ for those randomly assigned to telemedicine compared with those randomly assigned to in-person care (4.0-point improvement vs. 6.4-point improvement). 

“Larger studies are needed to determine whether the clinical benefits are indeed comparable to those of in-person care and whether the results observed are generalizable,” the researchers conclude.

As it becomes harder to get around in the advanced stages of the disease this may be something to think about.

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