For 2013-2014, the Davis Phinney Foundation is funding Dr. E. Ray Dorsey of the University of Rochester’s study, Using Telemedicine to Deliver Patient-Centered Care to Patients with Parkinson’s Disease Anywhere.
Many people with Parkinson’s are not able to receive the medical care they need to take better charge of their condition and live well today. Barriers include distance, disability, and distribution of doctors. Using simple web-based video conferencing, Dr. Dorsey’s previous studies have demonstrated the value of a telemedicine approach. Doctors specializing in Parkinson’s care meet with patients over the internet, assessing symptoms and discussing patient concerns during the telemedicine visit. Compared with in-person, clinic visits, previous studies show that each telemedicine visit saved participants, on average, 100 miles of travel and 3 hours of time, and had comparable benefits to an in–person doctor’s visit.
Dr. Dorsey’s 2013-2014 study aims to expand this telemedicine program in four states (Maryland, Florida, New York, and California), enabling more patients to receive care from Parkinson disease specialists, independent of their location, level of disability, and ability to pay. The primary purpose is to improve the quality of life for individuals (and their caregivers and families) with Parkinson’s disease by measuring the impact of remote care, demonstrating the national feasibility of conducting remote evaluations, and assessing the long-term acceptability to patients in receiving ongoing care remotely through telemedicine.
Publications related to this work:
The Doctor Is Always In; Telemedicine Cuts Out Tiring Trips to See Specialists: Maryland news article
The Parkinson’s Doctor Will Video Chat With You Now: 2011 NPR story
The Promise and Limitations of Telemedicine: 2013 NPR story
JAMA Neurology report – Randomized Control Clinical Trial of “Virtual House Calls” for Parkinson’s Disease: 2013 study headed by Dr. Dorsey to evaluate the comparison between at home telemedicine appointments and in-person clinic appointments.