Telemedicine for the Care of Neuromuscular Disorders

James Grogan, Zachary Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Purpose of review: Patients with neuromuscular disorders have complex, multimodal needs. Weakness, fatigue, distance, and resources often limit access to health care. This review aims to summarize the progress to date on synchronous (real-time) telemedicine visits and asynchronous (store-and-forward) telehealth data collection in order to identify ways in which these can fill gaps in health care for these patients. Recent findings: Most of the research on telemedicine for neuromuscular disorders has been done with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Synchronous videoconferencing has been shown to be feasible and acceptable to these patients and their caregivers, to be cost-effective, and to be able to be successfully incorporated into ALS multidisciplinary care. In-home monitoring of respiratory function, gait, and voice can also reduce patient and caregiver burden. Non-motor accompaniments, such as cognitive, behavioral, and psychiatric symptoms, are frequent in patients with neuromuscular disorders and potentially also amenable to management via telemedicine. Summary: Telemedicine appears to offer increased access to high-quality, multidisciplinary care for patients with neuromuscular disorders. Its high acceptability by patients, and reduced costs and non-financial burdens, enhances the ability to care for this underserved patient population. Additional studies of health-related outcomes are needed to assess the overall value of telemedicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Neurology
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology

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