Changes to Sleep Care Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic: Michael Thorpy, MD

SAP Partner | <b>Montefiore Health System</b>

The director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center discussed the adjustments clinicians and patients with sleep disorders made throughout the pandemic, including the increased use of telemedicine.

"From the patient’s point of view, it’s actually worked out to be very advantageous and they can have greater contact with a physician, whereas in the past we were reluctant to have to bring a patient in the office and spend several hours of their day having to do that office visit.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, access to in-person care and the accelerated use of telemedicine have been among the most talked about topics among clinicians and patients alike. Prior to the pandemic, the use of telemedicine had been growing, but had not come close in comparison of its utility during the pandemic. Clinicians were tasked with adapting quickly to this acceleration and relaying that information to their patients for a seamless transition.

Overall, most clinicians have agreed that there are several benefits that telemedicine bring to the medical community, including the ability to treat in isolated areas. For Michael Thorpy, MD, quick interactions through telemedicine have benefitted certain patient groups, such as patients with narcolepsy, a disease that typically requires additional interaction in treating and managing medications.

Thorpy, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center, sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss the boom of telemedicine and the changes made to sleep care throughout the pandemic. He expressed both the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the long-term outlook for its continued use.