TELENEUROLOGY

Teleneurology

TELENEUROLOGY

At Advanced Associates in Neurology, our Teleneurology service is revolutionizing patient care by offering expert neurological consultations remotely. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, our experienced neurologist will provide high-quality, comprehensive care to patients, irrespective of their geographical location limited to the state of California. This service not only minimizes the need for travel and reduces waiting times, but also ensures prompt and efficient diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care for all our patients. 

WHAT IS TELENEUROLOGY?

WHAT IS TELENEUROLOGY?

Teleneurology is a branch of telemedicine that uses advanced technology to provide neurologic care remotely. It involves a neurologist examining patients over a video conference call, enabling timely diagnosis and treatment for patients who may not have easy access to neurological healthcare. Conditions such as nonacute stroke, epilepsy, headaches, chronic pain and various other neurological disorders can be managed through this virtual method. This not only makes healthcare more accessible but also significantly reduces associated travel time and costs. 

HOW IT WORKS?

Tele-neurology utilizes videoconferencing and digital technology to facilitate remote neurological consultations. Here’s a basic outline of how it works: 

  • The patient schedules an appointment with the neurologist who offers tele-neurology services. 
  • At the scheduled time, the patient and neurologist connect via a secure video call. This can often be done using a personal computer, tablet, or smartphone with a camera and internet access. 
  • The neurologist conducts the consultation virtually, asking the patient about symptoms, medical history, and any other pertinent information. 
  • Depending on the nature of the consultation, the neurologist may guide the patient to perform certain physical tests. For example, they might ask the patient to move in certain ways to assess motor function and coordination. 
  • After the consultation, the neurologist can prescribe treatment, recommend further tests, or schedule a follow-up appointment, depending on the patient’s needs. 
  • Typically, the patient’s local healthcare provider or primary care doctor is informed about the consultation, findings, and recommendations. Usually, before the appointment, we attempt to obtain medical records from the patient’s healthcare provider. 
  • The tele-neurology team can manage and monitor the treatment, adjusting as necessary based on the patient’s progress and any further tests. 

It’s important to note that while tele-neurology can make neurological care more accessible, it does not replace traditional in-person care completely. In certain cases where necessary, patients might still need to visit a healthcare facility. 

WHAT IS NOT COVERED BY TELENEUROLOGY?

While teleneurology is an effective form of remote health care, it does have its limitations. Some of the things that cannot be covered under teleneurology include: 

  • Emergency Situations: In urgent or life-threatening situations like an acute stroke or serious head injury, immediate in-person care at a hospital is necessary. 
  • Complex Physical Examinations: While many aspects of a neurological exam can be conducted remotely with a cooperative patient, some evaluations such as detailed cranial nerve testing or an in-depth test of coordination might require a physical presence. 
  • Procedures: Certain procedures such as lumbar punctures, Botox injections for migraine, nerve conduction studies, or EEGs (Electroencephalogram) can’t be done remotely and require an in-person visit. 
  • Imaging Tests: Tests like CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays can’t be performed through teleneurology as they require specialized equipment and personnel. 
  • Infrastructure: Patients who do not have reliable access to the internet or a device with a camera and microphone cannot use teleneurology services effectively. 

In such cases, patients will need to visit a healthcare facility for appropriate care and treatment. Consequently, while teleneurology greatly increases access to neurology services, it doesn’t entirely replace the need for traditional in-person care. 

What is Not Covered By Teleneurology?

BENEFITS

Similar to other branches of telemedicine, teleconsultation provides patients with immediate, unrestricted access to exceptional care. Crucially, it enables hospitals and medical settings lacking on-site specialized expertise to extend high-quality services to patients. This is particularly beneficial for rural or underserved areas with limited access to medical centers. Additional benefits include: –  

Privacy

Teleneurology respects patient privacy by aligning with HIPAA and internet security protocols. It is not just a simple video call, but a secure platform designed to deliver expert healthcare safely. 

Safety

During times like a pandemic when patients may feel unsafe visiting hospital emergency rooms, teleneurology provides a secure alternative for consultations, minimizing exposure risks. This is particularly useful for COVID-positive patients in long-term care who require neurology consultations. 

Convenience

For patients, teleconsultations mean no travel, saving them time and resources. This accessibility reduces the reliance on in-person appointments. For healthcare providers, the convenience of teleneurology optimizes patient care by allowing for quick and accurate evaluations without the need for physical proximity. Consequently, neurologists can manage a larger volume of cases more efficiently, lowering the risk of delays in diagnosis and treatment. 

WHAT NEXT?

At Advanced Associates in Neurology (AAN), we are committed to providing cutting-edge remote patient monitoring and chronic care management services. Our approach is designed to cater to patients dealing with various chronic conditions, ensuring they receive the most up-to-date and comprehensive consultation and care, all from the comfort of their own homes.
 
Reference Links:  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3590056/ 

https://nchmd.org/teleneurology/ 
 
https://ama-assn.org/practice-management/digital/return-health-telehealth-case-study-teleneurology-and-telestroke