Barry J. Byrne, MD, PhD: The Long-Term Impact of COVID-19 on Telemedicine


The chief medical advisor for the Muscular Dystrophy Association discussed how the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on the use of telemedicine in the neuromuscular community­­.

“I do think [there will be a lasting effect on telemedicine], and I think it’ll actually only benefit our neuromuscular community because obviously many patients with mobility issues find it very challenging to travel to a site to be seen.”

Despite the adversity that physicians have been facing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some silver linings to take away from the experience. One of those has been the push across the country and the world to utilize remote telemedicine practices.

For physicians that treat patients with neuromuscular diseases, like Barry J. Byrne, MD, PhD. Byrne, the lasting impact this can have is actually a major positive for this population. He pointed out that a number of patients experience mobility issues, and while there are still some aspects of clinical measurements still need to be completely figured out, this provides a potential way for them to see their physician without having to travel.

To find out more insight from Byrne, who is the chief medical advisor to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), and associate chair of pediatrics and director at the University of Florida Powell Center for Rare Disease Research and Therapy, NeurologyLive connected with him virtually. He discussed how this can improve access to care, and what still needs to be done to solidify virtual medicine as part of care going forward.

For more information, visit the MDA’s resource center, which expands on the CDC’s guidelines for COVID-19 to offer the neuromuscular community-specific information relevant to COVID-19. It can be accessed at the MDA COVID-19 webpage.

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