Researchers Describe Use of Teleconcussion to Ensure Athlete Safety in Case Study

mayo-clinicMany individuals who suffer a concussion do not seek medical care for their symptoms, and might suffer long-lasting, progressive, and profound cognitive, psychiatric, and neurologic effects. An article published online ahead of print October 26, 2012, in Telemedicine and e-Health, describes the first use of teleconcussion, a solution for management and follow-up of a concussed athlete with remote access technology.


In “Teleconcussion: An Innovative Approach to Screening, Diagnosis, and Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury,” Bert Vargas, MD, and his team from the Mayo Clinic Arizona—Neurology, Phoenix, present a case study about using telemedicine to assess and manage a high school athlete who had begun to resume physical activity following a concussion, in advance of accepted return-to-play guidelines. Arizona law reportedly mandates that interscholastic athletes removed from competitions for suspicion of having a concussion must have formal clearance by a specially trained health care provider before returning to play. According to the article, the use of telemedicine networks to facilitate timely access to subspecialty care can help ensure the health and safety of rural student-athletes.


“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, MBA, one of the editors-in-chief of the journal and research professor of family and community medicine from the University of Cincinnati, says. He adds that the integration of Vargas et al’s teleconcussion study can “add great value to this very important field.”


[Source: Telemedicine and e-Health]