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Study Looks at Telemedicine as a Way to Diagnose Concussions

November 8, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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A recent report, from various researchers at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix and elsewhere, looked at how telemedicine could be used to diagnosis concussions among rural-area high school students. The report, "Teleconcussion: An Innovative Approach to Screening, Diagnosis, and Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury,” looked at how doctors of a 15-year-old boy in Arizona effectively used telemedicine tools to evaluate and determine his concussion symptoms.  

The patient had begun to resume physical activity following a concussion, and according to the report, Arizona law mandated that he (and any other interscholastic athlete) receive a formal clearance by a specially trained healthcare provider. Since he lived in a rural era and was being treated in a 89-bed regional facility that lacks direct neurological support, he was put in a video conference with a specialist. The doctor’s consultation through telemedicine told the patient to refrain from physical activity pending additional workup and face-to-face consultation with a concussion specialist.

"The ability to identify a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) soon after it is sustained, whether on the battlefield or the sports field, is of great importance and high utility," Charles R. Doarn, one of the Editors-in-Chief of the Telemedicine and e-Health journal, where the report will appear, and professor of family and community medicine, at University of Cincinnati, said in a statement. "The integration of 'teleconcussion' and Vargas et al.'s work can add great value to this very important field."



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