Jessica Fesler, MD: Alleviating Epilepsy Burden With Telemedicine

December 31, 2019

The staff epileptologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Epilepsy Center spoke to the benefits of telemedicine for patients with epilepsy, and how the practice can alleviate a number of burdens.

“I am excited, I think it’s the way of the future. It just works better, and as people become more comfortable with it and the technology, [it will be used more often]. Obviously, the great thing is the convenience…it reduces a lot of burden.”

At the 73rd annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society (AES), December 6-10, 2019, in Baltimore, Maryland, Jessica Fesler, MD, staff epileptologist, Cleveland Clinic Epilepsy Center, and colleagues presented a large, single-center dataset showing the success and feasibility of telemedicine in epilepsy.

Over the 35-month study period, 3698 visits were conducted with patients from 43 different states. On a 5-point scale, with 5 representing the best possible, patients rated their overall experience with the virtual visit a mean of 4.77 and rated their provider a 4.91. The visits were mostly completed with epilepsy physicians (74%; pediatric: 25%; adult: 49%), with the remaining conducted by advanced practice providers (22%), neuropsychologists (1%), and neurosurgeons (3%).

Based on their distance from the Cleveland Clinic Epilepsy Center, 26.7% (n = 571) of patients were local, defined as within 50 miles, while 30.5% (n = 652) were deemed near regional (within 51 to 150 miles), 20.1% (n = 431) considered far regional (within 151 to 270 miles), and 22.7% (n = 486) were considered remote, defined as further than 270 miles. Using those distances, roughly 928,696 miles of travel were saved for patients.

To find out more about what these data mean, and what the benefits are, for patients, NeurologyLive spoke with Fesler about her experience utilizing the technology.

For more coverage of AES 2019, click here.

REFERENCE

Fesler JR, Stanton S, Merner K. Bridging the Gap in Epilepsy Care: A Single-Center Experience of More Than 1000 Tele-Epilepsy Visits. Presented at: AES 2019; December 6—10; Baltimore, Maryland. Abstract 2.36.