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Telehealth Feasible for Parkinson's Care

Telehealth Feasible for Parkinson's Care

Fri, Aug 18, 2017

FRIDAY, Aug. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Virtual house calls by neurologists may be of great interest to and provide substantial convenience for patients with Parkinson's disease, according to a study published online Aug. 16 in Neurology.

The research included 195 patients who received either care from their usual doctor or their usual care plus up to four video (virtual) visits with a neurologist they had not seen before.

The virtual visits were as effective as in-person visits. In both groups, quality of life, quality of care, and burden on caregivers was the same, the researchers found. Each virtual visit saved patients an average of 169 minutes and nearly 100 miles of driving, according to a journal news release accompanying the study. Ninety-seven percent of patients and 86 percent of neurologists said they were satisfied with the virtual visits, and 55 percent of patients said they preferred virtual visits over in-person visits.

"Virtual house calls have the potential to dramatically increase access to care for people with such a debilitating disease," write the authors of an accompanying editorial. "The 21st Century Cures Act mandated a report on which chronic conditions could be improved most by the expansion of telemedicine. Parkinson's disease should be considered for this report, and it should expand the definition of telemedicine to include the virtual house call."

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