Across medicine and around the world, doctors are harnessing the power of technology to care for patients through telemedicine, which allows specialists to see patients anywhere using an audio-visual link over the internet. Studies have shown that telemedicine care is just as good as care received at an academic medical center; in fact, many people have reported preferring telemedicine because they feel more at ease in the comfort of their own home.
Telemedicine is especially valuable to patients in remote, rural and underserved areas because it gives them the ability to consult specialists they’d otherwise have to travel hours to see.
The National Parkinson Foundation aims to narrow these gaps in Parkinson’s care; that’s why we are working with experts from the University of Rochester, an NPF Center of Excellence, to demonstrate that telemedicine can deliver care to people with Parkinson’s.
“Right now half the people in the world with Parkinson’s disease are suffering needlessly because they aren’t receiving care from a neurologist. So rather than asking older individuals with a disabling condition to come to an urban medical center to receive care, we’re saying let’s bring the care directly to the patients.”
– Ray Dorsey, MD, University of Rochester
The study will compare telemedicine to the care people receive in their own communities (such as from primary care doctors). The goal is to prove that people with Parkinson’s can get expert care via “virtual house calls,” making it easier for people all over the world to receive quality Parkinson’s care. This study is supported by a $1.7 million research award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).