July 14, 2020

Bridging the Healthcare Gap: Building the Case for Epilepsy Virtual Clinics in the Current Healthcare Environment

Abstract, published in Epilepsy & Behavior

Access to quality healthcare remains a challenge that is complicated by mounting pressures to control costs, and currently, the unprecedented strain placed on our healthcare delivery systems due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Challenges in healthcare access have driven a need for innovative approaches ensuring connectivity to health providers.

Telehealth services and virtual clinics offer accessible disease management pathways for patients living in health resource limited areas or, as in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, where there may be potential barriers to existing healthcare resources. Those suffering with serious chronic disorders often cannot be seen by a healthcare specialist due to their limited availability, or the lack of a specialist within a reasonable proximity. Epilepsy represents such a disorder where most of the world’s population lacks the availability of necessary specialists.

Virtual clinics allow for specialist care and an ability to perform necessary ambulatory electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring by placing the technologies directly in patients’ homes or at local clinics near the patients’ homes. By moving the diagnostic process out of the hospital or epilepsy center, it becomes possible to overcome growing gaps in neurology services. Virtual clinics have the potential to expand access to high-quality, cost-effective care for the patient. The virtual clinic remotely connects those in need of medical support with specialists anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.

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