Implementing Virtual Care in Neurology - Challenges and Pitfalls

J Cent Nerv Syst Dis. 2022 Jul 1;14:11795735221109745. doi: 10.1177/11795735221109745. eCollection 2022.

Abstract

Virtual care is here to stay. The explosive expansion of telehealth caused by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is more than a necessary measure of protection. The key drivers of this transition in healthcare delivery to a virtual setting are changes in patient behavior and expectations and societal attitudes, and prevailing technologies that are impossible to ignore. The younger population - Generation Z - is increasingly connected and mobile-first. We are heading to a world where we expect to see healthcare in general and neurology, in particular, delivered virtually. The medical community should prepare for this overhaul; proper implementation of virtual care from the ground up is the need of the hour. In an era of virtualization, it is up to the medical community to ensure a well-informed patient population, overcome cultural differences and build digital infrastructure with enhanced access and equity in care delivery, especially for the aging neurological patient population, which is not technologically savvy. Virtual care is a continuum of care that needs deeper integration at systematic levels. The design principles of a patient's journey need to be incorporated while simultaneously placing physician satisfaction with a better user experience at the center of implementation. In this paper, we discuss common challenges and pitfalls of virtual care implementation in neurology - logistical, technical, medicolegal, and those faced in incorporating health and medical education into virtual care - intending to provide solutions and strategies.

Keywords: digitalhealth; neurology; telehealth; telemedicine; teleneurology; telestroke; virtualcare; virtualneurology.

Publication types

  • Review