Study explores the long-term impact of telemedicine on child neurology care


Researchers from the Epilepsy Neurogenetics Initiative (ENGIN) at Youngsters’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) discovered that throughout practically 50,000 visits, sufferers continued to make use of telemedicine successfully even with the reopening of outpatient clinics a yr after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, distinguished limitations for socially weak households and racial and ethnic minorities persist, suggesting extra work is required to succeed in a wider inhabitants with telemedicine.

The findings, which signify the most important research of telemedicine in little one neurology thus far, had been printed right this moment by the journal Developmental Drugs & Youngster Neurology.

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a speedy and unprecedented conversion of outpatient scientific care from in-person visits to distant telehealth visits. Whereas telemedicine had been used to ship take care of particular grownup affected person populations previous to the pandemic, the effectiveness of telemedicine in little one neurology as a novel methodology of care had not been systematically explored. In a previous research printed by Neurology in 2020, CHOP researchers discovered that sufferers and clinicians had a excessive charge of satisfaction with telemedicine and plenty of on either side had been focused on utilizing telemedicine for future visits.

To that finish, the research staff needed to find out the long-term impression of telemedicine on little one neurology care in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, factoring within the reopening of outpatient clinics. The observational research was based mostly on a cohort of 34,837 in-person visits and 14,820 telemedicine outpatient visits between October 2019 and April 2021 throughout a complete of 26,399 little one neurology sufferers.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the use of telemedicine visits, however now that telemedicine visits have been established as a part of the care we’re in a position to ship, we had the chance to check them extra totally to in-person visits. With knowledge on practically 15,000 telemedicine visits, we had been in a position to establish traits in how telemedicine was being utilized by people of various demographic backgrounds, neurological circumstances and different variables.”

Michael Kaufman, MS, research’s first writer, knowledge scientist with ENGIN at CHOP

The researchers discovered that telemedicine was a viable possibility for a lot of sufferers and was utilized extra usually than in-person visits for sure sufferers, comparable to these with epilepsy and attention-deficit hyperactivity dysfunction. Different sufferers, comparable to these with sure neuromuscular and motion problems, youthful sufferers, and people needing particular procedures had been much less prone to obtain care by telemedicine.

Moreover, the researchers discovered that self-reported racial and ethnic minority populations within the research in addition to these with the best social vulnerability – a measure of group resilience to stressors on human well being – had been much less prone to take part in telemedicine visits. Two novel metrics had been developed to find out entry to telemedicine and monitor delayed care, which revealed additional disparities. A few of the most weak people had been much less prone to activate their on-line affected person portals and had been extra prone to obtain delayed care, in comparison with much less weak people.

“Our group has studied telemedicine extensively, and our findings exhibit how telemedicine has change into an ordinary element of kid neurology care for a lot of sufferers,” mentioned Ingo Helbig, MD, a pediatric neurologist at CHOP, director of the genomic and knowledge science core of CHOP’s Epilepsy Neurogenetics Initiative (ENGIN) and senior writer on this research. “Elevated use of telemedicine was prompted by a public well being emergency, and so we’d like to ensure, as these new instruments for affected person care stay prevalent, that we’re persevering with to study and deal with disparities in care and optimize entry for socially weak households, in order that they’ve the instruments essential ought to one other comparable public well being disaster happen.”


Journal reference:

Kaufman, M.C., et al. (2022) Youngster neurology telemedicine: analyzing 14 820 affected person encounters in the course of the first yr of the COVID-19 pandemic. Developmental Drugs & Youngster Neurology.

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