Research has proven that there is no difference between the safety and efficiency of the telemedicine treatment and the official clinic visits for a chronic headache. A headache is one of the most common neurologic disorder, yet most people do not receive adequate treatment. The good thing is that a new technology is now available to diagnose people through telemedicine, but there have been various studies to determine if it is effective like the in office visits.
This study involved 402 individuals who suffered non-acute headaches or a problem that came gradually. These were people who were referred from a primary care physician to a neurologist. Half of the patients had a traditional office visit at a hospital, and the other half went to the hospital but saw the neurologist through a video call. The participants were asked to take questionnaires about the effects of the headache on their daily lives and also about the level of pain at the start of the study and after three months and after a year.
The researchers said that there was no difference between the patients treated via telemedicine and those who had clinic office visits.
This study, known as a non-inferiority study is designed to show that the new treatment is not clinically different from the traditional type. To conclude the safety of using telemedicine, researchers checked whether the participants experienced a secondary headache a year after the practice. A secondary headache means that it is a sign of another underlying condition.
The researchers imagined a situation where a patient has to travel for 40 km to the airport to reach the nearest airport and then take a flight to go for a consultation. There could also be other barriers like weather conditions which would prevent the patient attending the meeting.
The northern England covers a large area covered with mountains and valleys and thus, patients traveling to see a doctor can be challenging and cumbersome and expensive for many individuals. Telemedicine will be helpful and convenient to everyone suffering from headaches and wishes to see a specialist without any hassle. This will help in diagnosing and treatment of the condition before it worsens.