Athletics has been something that many have enjoyed doing for many years… as time goes athletes get bigger and better than they were before; but along with the person getting bigger and stronger concussions have become a larger issue as well, especially in athletes that are playing football. And while things in athletics have progressed, concussions have become an extremely troubling part of football on every level as well. Luckily there have been strides taken in certain states that will help in transforming the way things have been done in the past.
The Houston Texans in conjunction with GE have teamed up with the Houston Methodist Concussion Center and came up with a pilot that will be very beneficial for many. They have funded a telemedicine pilot that will run on trial for two years… it is focused on bringing specialized care for concussions. This care will be specifically for student athletes at 19 of the rural school districts that are found in Texas.
One of the portions of the pilot focuses on having an athletic trainer from Houston Methodist go out to the school or training facility, respectively, to give a comprehensive concussion evaluation whenever a student athlete has been injured during a game or even in practice and they have a suspected concussion.
Once this evaluation is done a physician from the Houston Methodist Concussion Center will give an examination through an HIPPAA-compliant video connection that is done online… they will be able to give a diagnosis as well as plan a treatment plan for the athlete.
Telemedicine is great especially in these situations… if you have an evaluation done as soon as possible when you think a concussion has happened then you can start treatments sooner… telemedicine saves you an office trip as well as time. In Texas, many student athletes find themselves two to three hours away from a concussion specialist; this program will allow the same level of care with concussions for everyone in the state in a viable amount of time.
If the Houston Texans, GE Healthcare and Houston Methodist Concussion Center find that this pilot is successful, the intend on expanding the program so all athletes that are in Texas will have access to telemedicine and the care experts for concussions. There has been an estimate of 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention… the majority of these injuries seem to go untreated… hopefully this number can be reduced with this program.