January 24, 2014 (Newswire.com) - People living with Parkinson 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 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 care directly into patients' homes using video visit technology.
''The idea that we can provide care to individuals with Parkinson 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 and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, will enroll some 200 people with Parkinson 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 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.
"We have an ample supply of neurologists in the country to take care of people with Parkinson disease, but because of distance, disability, and the distribution of doctors, many patients have a difficult time seeing a specialist," said Dorsey.
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 disease, Alzheimer disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure and more, will provide the technology platform for this study.
"Instead of the patient having to travel to the provider, we're bringing the provider to the patient, which for patients with chronic illnesses who may have difficulty traveling and or are far from specialty care, we're changing the care delivery paradigm and making care push-button simple with video technology," said Christopher Herot, Chief Executive Officer of SBR Health.
As chronic conditions affect an estimated 140 million Americans and account for more than 75 percent of healthcare spending today, the goal of the study is to demonstrate the effectiveness of using video technology in care for patients. Once scaled, this effort could bring together the country's leading healthcare organizations and potentially transform care in unprecedented ways, while improving patients' health and overall quality of life.
"This research seeks to demonstrate that we can reach anyone, anywhere with a given condition," said Dorsey. "If we can successfully remove the barriers to telemedicine, this approach will ultimately allow more patients with Parkinson disease to live independently in their homes, while still getting the care they need."
To learn more about the study and or to enroll, call the National Parkinson Foundation PD Helpline at (800) 4PD-INFO, or visit ClinicalTrials.gov.