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J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2018 Oct-Dec;9(4):541-544. doi: 10.4103/jnrp.jnrp_104_18.

Feasibility and Utility of Tele-Neurorehabilitation Service in India: Experience from a Quaternary Center.

Author information

1
Department of Neurological Rehabilitation, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
2
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Tele Medicine Center, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.

Abstract

Background:

Neurological rehabilitation service in developing countries like India is a great challenge in view of limited resources and manpower. Currently, neurological rehabilitation with a multidisciplinary team is limited to a few major cities in the country. Tele-neurorehabilitation (TNR) is considered as an alternative and innovative approach in health care. It connects the needy patients with the health-care providers with minimum inconvenience and yields cost-effective health care.

Aim:

The aim of this study was to study the socioclinical parameters, feasibility, and utility of TNR services in India.

Methodology:

A retrospective file review of TNR consultations provided through Telemedicine Center at a quaternary hospital-based research center in south India between August 2012 and January 2016.

Results:

A total of 37 consultations were provided to the patients belonging to four districts of Karnataka. The mean age of the patients was 34.7 (±19.5) years, 23 (62.1%) were aged between 19 and 60 years, and 31 (83.8%) were male. Thirty-one patients (83.8%) had central nervous system-related disorders such as stroke, cerebral palsy, and tubercular meningitis with sequelae or neuromuscular disorders such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Twelve patients (32.4%) were advised to consult higher centers in the vicinity, and the rest was referred to the district hospital.

Conclusion:

The findings suggest that TNR services are feasible, effective, and less resource intensive in delivering quality telemedicine care in India. More clinical studies are required to elucidate its full utility at different levels and in different parts of the country.

KEYWORDS:

Collaborative care; feasibility; neurorehabilitation; telemedicine

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