Skip to content Skip to navigation

Mayo Clinic to Test Teleconcussion Robot at College Football Games

September 3, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

The Mayo Clinic and Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Phoenix are teaming up to test the feasibility of using a telemedicine robot to assess athletes with suspected concussions during football games as part of a research study.

With sophisticated robotic technology, use of a specialized remote controlled camera system allows patients to be "seen" by the neurology specialist, miles away, in real time. During the study, the robot is equipped with a specialized camera system remotely operated by a Mayo Clinic neurologist in Phoenix who has the ability to assess a player for symptoms and signs of a concussion and to consult with sideline medical personnel.

The robot was first available for use at NAU's opening game against the University of Arizona on Aug. 30. "Athletes at professional and collegiate levels have lobbied for access to neurologic expertise on the sideline,” Bert Vargas, M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic who is heading up the research, said in a statement. “As we seek new and innovative ways to provide the highest level of concussion care and expertise, we hope that teleconcussion can meet this need and give athletes at all levels immediate access to concussion experts.

According to Mayo Clinic, this study would be the first to explore whether a remote neurological assessment is as accurate as a face-to-face evaluation in identifying concussion symptoms and making return to play decisions. Mayo Clinic physicians will not provide medical consultations during the study; they will only assess the feasibility of using the technology. If it appears feasible, this may open the door for countless schools, athletic teams, and organizations without access to specialized care to use similar portable technology for sideline assessments, Mayo Clinic officials said.

"As nearly 60 percent of U.S. high schools do not have access to an athletic trainer, youth athletes who are more susceptible to concussion and its after-effects have the fewest safeguards in place to identify possible concussion signs and symptoms at the time of injury, Vargas said. “Teleconcussion is one way to bridge this gap regardless of when or where they may be playing."

Others involved in collegiate sports agree."There were a number of examples last football season where college football players clearly demonstrating concussion-like symptoms were quickly thrown back in games or weren't even taken out of the game for an evaluation," Ramogi Huma, executive director of the National College Players Association, said in a statement. "College football players are in desperate need for independent concussion experts on the sidelines, and this study could help make that safeguard a reality."

In 2011, Mayo Clinic expanded its telemedicine evaluations to include concussion evaluations. Concussion experts at the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Concussion Program in Arizona coined the term "teleconcussion," and described the concept as an effective means to assess concussed patients in a case study published in the December 2012 issue of Telemedicine and e-Health.

Health IT Summit Series - Focus: TELEHEALTH

Get the latest information on Telehealth, and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day, intimate event bringing together C-level, physician, practice management and IT decision makers for strategy discussions, knowledge exchange, and one-on-one meetings.

Boston, June 23-24   |   Denver, July 12-13
Topics

News

Johns Hopkins Research Finds Medical Errors Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.; Author Asks CDC to Change ICD Coding System to Record Medical Errors

May 4, 2016
Johns Hopkins Research Finds Medical Errors Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.; Author Asks CDC to Change ICD Coding System to Record Medical Errors

Health IT Stakeholders Question ONC’s Authority in Proposed EHR Certification Rule

May 3, 2016
Industry stakeholders have given the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) feedback for a proposed rule that would give the agency more power in overseeing and reviewing electronic health records (EHR) and other health IT products.

New Senate Bill Proposes Using Project ECHO as National Model for Rural Care

May 3, 2016
Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) have introduced the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act with the aim of expanding New Mexico’s Project ECHO as a national model for using telehealth for rural care.

NATE, CommonWell Come Together for Interoperability Goals

May 3, 2016
The National Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE) and CommonWell Health Alliance have announced that each would become a member of the other’s organization, agreeing to establish a complementary relationship with the goal of enhancing cross-vendor interoperability.

MIPS Mobile Challenge Aims to Give Clinicians Real-Time Information and Assistance

May 3, 2016
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a competition to develop a mobile platform to help educate physicians and clinicians about the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) program.

CMS Finalizes Its Quality Measure Program

May 3, 2016
Officials at CMS on Tuesday posted the agency’s finalized Quality Measurement Program on its website, focusing on identifying known measurement and performance gaps and developing measures in six key quality “domains”

Survey: Most Digital Health Users Are Not Using EHRs to Manage Their Health

May 2, 2016
While 60 percent of consumers who use digital health tools say they have an electronic health record (EHR), only 22 percent of these patients are accessing EHRs to help make medical decisions, according to a survey by HealthMine.

GOP Senators Want Feds to Include Hospitals for MU Flexibility

May 2, 2016
Six GOP senators have written to federal officials to request feedback on legislation they drafted that would address the ongoing issues with implementation of the meaningful use program.

Last Day to Submit to the Healthcare Informatics 100

May 2, 2016
The Healthcare Informatics 100 has been up and running, but the submission process is ending today. Vendors, you only have one day to submit your data!

CHIME Calls for More Transparent, Uniform Interoperability Standards for Medical Devices

April 29, 2016
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collaborate with other federal agencies to ensure that medical devices are truly interoperable with electronic heath records (EHR) systems.

Survey: EHR Switches Resulted in Higher Than Expected Costs, Layoffs

April 29, 2016
Four years after what market research firm Black Book calls the inpatient electronic health record (EHR) “replacement frenzy,” surveyed clinicians expressed many doubts about the benefits of switching systems.

Healthcare Informatics Recognized with Four ASHPE Awards

April 29, 2016
Healthcare Informatics has been recognized by the American Society for Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE) with four awards as part of the ASHPE’s 2016 Awards Competition.

Truven Health Analytics Identifies 15 Top Health Systems Based on Clinical, Administrative Performance

April 28, 2016
A study by Truven Health Analytics found that the top-performing multi-hospital health systems in the U.S. achieved higher survival rates and fewer errors at a lower overall treatment cost.

Report: Privilege Misuse and End User Errors Leading Threats to Healthcare Security

April 28, 2016
End users are often the weakest link in an organization’s cyber defense as cyber criminals exploit human nature to execute attack patterns such as phishing, according to Verizon Enterprise’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report.

Survey: Execs Optimistic on Future of Health IT

April 27, 2016
Healthcare executives support electronic health records (EHRs) and a move to even wider communication amongst technology systems in the future, according to a new survey from financial services firm CIT Group and Harris Poll.

Pages