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J Telemed Telecare. 2005;11(2):55-9.

Teleneurology.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, UK. vp498@utvinternet.com

Abstract

Teleneurology enables neurology to be practised when the doctor and patient are not present in the same place, and possibly not at the same time. The two main techniques are: (1) videoconferencing, which enables communication between a doctor and a patient who are in different places at the same time (often called realtime or synchronous), and (2) email, where the consultation is carried out without the patient being present, at a time convenient to the doctors involved (asynchronous or store-and-forward teleneurology). Some problems that can be solved by teleneurology include: (1) patients admitted to hospital with acute neurological symptoms rarely see a neurologist; (2) delayed treatment for acute stroke; (3) non-optimum management of epilepsy; (4) unproductive travel time for neurologists; (5) extremely poor access to a neurologist for doctors in the developing world; (6) long waiting times to see a neurologist. Neurology is a specialty that, because of the emphasis on accurate interpretation of a history, does lend itself to telemedicine. It has been a late starter in realizing the benefits of telemedicine and most of the publications on teleneurology have been in the last five years. Its uptake within the neurological community is low but increasing. Telemedicine requires a significant change in how neurologists practise. The evidence to date is that teleneurology can narrow the gap between patients with neurological disease and the doctors who are trained to look after them.

PMID:
15829048
DOI:
10.1258/1357633053499840
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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