Study to examine effectiveness of using video calls to deliver care for people with Parkinson's disease

Published on February 12, 2014 at 2:16 PM · No Comments

People living with Parkinson's disease today often face challenges when seeking care, including disability, distance from medical centers, and distribution of doctors. In fact, 42 percent of those diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and more living with the condition, do not see a neurologist for their care. Now, a national study will attempt to disrupt the status quo and bring expert Parkinson's care directly into patients' homes using video visit technology.

"The idea that we can provide care to individuals with Parkinson's disease regardless of where they live is both a simple and revolutionary concept," according to University of Rochester neurologist and study author Ray Dorsey, MD.

The Connect.Parkinson study, with support from the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, will enroll some 200 people with Parkinson's disease this year and use simple, secure web-based videoconferencing software by SBR Health to examine the effectiveness and feasibility of using video calls to deliver care into the homes of people with Parkinson's disease. 

Neurologists participating in the study will use the same video technology in place at some of today's top healthcare organizations, including Partners Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Joslin Diabetes and others, to connect to patients from a computer, tablet and or smartphone to assess their condition and develop a treatment plan.

"Technology has been slow to infiltrate medicine and, when it has, it mostly has been supporting a model of care developed in the 1800's, which remains essentially unchanged. For the first time, we are looking at redesigning care from first principals," said Peter Schmidt, PhD, NPF's Vice President, Research and Professional Programs. "We are looking at the best way to help people using all the resources we now have at our disposal."

SBR Health (www.sbrhealth.com), an innovative health technology company that provides video visit solutions that enable the creation of virtual health delivery networks for chronic conditions like Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure and more, will provide the technology platform for this study.

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