The recent issue of Telemedicine and e-Health published a case study which praises the benefits of telemedicine. In the study, doctors at Mayo Clinic in Arizona used telemedicine technology to treat concussions through the use of live video evaluations.
“When a community doesn’t have ready access to providers trained in the recognition and management of concussion, concussed athletes sometimes go unrecognized or returned to play prematurely potentially subjecting them to more serious injuries,” says Bert Vargas, M.D., neurologist and assistant professor of Neurology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
Doctors in more rural areas embrace telemedicine as advanced technology is bringing quality care to patients regardless of their location in the world.
“Despite the current culture of increased awareness and recognition of concussions, concussed athletes go unrecognized – even at the professional level,” Dr. Vargas adds. “Many professional sports organizations have voiced the need for neurologists to be on the sideline to make rapid authoritative decisions regarding return to play for athletes suspected of having a concussion. Teleconcussion may eventually be a way to address the logistical issues associated with having a neurologist on the sideline of every professional and collegiate level sporting event.”
The use of telemedicine to treat concussions is great news for the 40 percent of Arizona residents that do not live in an area where stroke specialists are readily available.