The past, present, and future of telemedicine for Parkinson's disease

Meredith Achey, Jason L. Aldred, Noha Aljehani, Bastiaan R. Bloem, Kevin M. Biglan, Piu Chan, Esther Cubo, E. Ray Dorsey, Christopher G. Goetz, Mark Guttman, Anhar Hassan, Suketu M. Khandhar, Zoltan Mari, Meredith Spindler, Caroline M. Tanner, Pieter van den Haak, Richard Walker, Jayne R. Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Travel distance, growing disability, and uneven distribution of doctors limit access to care for most Parkinson's disease (PD) patients worldwide. Telemedicine, the use of telecommunications technology to deliver care at a distance, can help overcome these barriers. In this report, we describe the past, present, and likely future applications of telemedicine to PD. Historically, telemedicine has relied on expensive equipment to connect single patients to a specialist in pilot programs in wealthy nations. As the cost of video conferencing has plummeted, these efforts have expanded in scale and scope, now reaching larger parts of the world and extending the focus from care to training of remote providers. Policy, especially limited reimbursement, currently hinders the growth and adoption of these new care models. As these policies change and technology advances and spreads, the following will likely develop: integrated care networks that connect patients to a wide range of providers; education programs that support patients and health care providers; and new research applications that include remote monitoring and remote visits. Together, these developments will enable more individuals with PD to connect to care, increase access to expertise for patients and providers, and allow more-extensive, less-expensive participation in research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-883
Number of pages13
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Parkinson's disease
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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