HealthDay News — Teleconcussion assessment with a remote neurologist assessing football players using a telemedicine robot is feasible for sideline concussion assessments, with high levels of agreement with face-to-face providers, according to a study published online March 24 in Neurology.

Bert B. Vargas, MD, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues assessed a cohort of 11 consecutive male collegiate football players with suspected concussion using Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC), King-Devick test (K-D), and modified Balance Error Scoring System (mBESS). Each athlete was assessed by a remote neurologist using a telemedicine robot with real-time 2-way audiovisual capabilities and by a sideline provider who performed a simultaneous face-to-face assessment. A remove-from-play (RFP) determination was made after the assessment. SAC and mBESS scores were obtained for 6 of the 11 athletes.

The researchers found that in all 6 cases assessed, the teleconcussion and face-to-face SAC were in agreement. There was a mean difference of 0.7 seconds between remote and sideline K-D times. In all 11 cases, remote and sideline K-D were within a 3-second difference. In all 6 cases assessed, remote and sideline mBESS scores were within 3 points. In all 11 cases, RFP decisions were in agreement.

“These data suggest a high level of agreement between remote and face-to-face providers with regard to examination findings and RFP determinations,” the authors wrote.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Vargas BB, Shepard M, Hentz JG, Kutyreff C, Hershey G, Starling AJ. Feasibility and accuracy of teleconcussion for acute evaluation of suspected concussion. Neurology. 2017;88(16):1580-1583. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000003841