COVID-19: Initiating the Expansion of Telemedicine in Neurosurgery

Am J Biomed Sci Res. 2020;9(1):90-94. doi: 10.34297/ajbsr.2020.09.001359. Epub 2020 Jun 3.


Objective: As COVID-19 spreads around the world, so does telemedicine across many medical specialties including neurosurgery. Given the unique patient population in neurosurgery, arising opportunities for integration and expansion of telemedicine into neurosurgery practice come with challenges for both the patient and the provider.

Methods: A literature review has been performed, and a survey has been sent out to neurosurgery providers in Texas to determine if providers are satisfied with the current state of telemedicine in their clinical practice.

Results: Patients who live far away from a medical center have cited increased convenience when routine postoperative visits have been converted to telemedicine. For providers, challenges have arisen in performing physical exams, especially when performing detailed neurological exams in the diagnosis of a spine disorder. Survey results of neurosurgery providers have revealed mixed opinions since the initiation of telemedicine.

Conclusion: Although it is unclear what role telemedicine will have after the social distancing restrictions are lifted, many providers surveyed have expressed interest in keeping telemedicine in their clinical practice.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Neurosurgery; Telemedicine.