In 2014 a team from Cleveland Clinic’s Head & Neck Institute (HNI) showed proof of concept of how telemedicine worked in the care of two remotely evaluated patients. Otolaryngologist Paul Bryson, MD, of Cleveland Clinic’s Head & Neck Institute, led the presentation. Michael Benninger, MD, Chairman of the Institute and others took part in the study.
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In November 2017, the team published findings in The Laryngoscope journal. The paper notes: “Because a major part of laryngology in its modern form involves the archiving of audio and visual images obtained during laryngoscopic examinations, the field is uniquely suited to utilize current technological advances to remotely evaluate voice disorders.”
Issues the team considered included audio and video quality for real-time interaction as well as cloud-based capabilities (to store for later review). The team believes this rapidly growing field will enhance access to care for patients and allow for more collaborations among specialties.
“Telemedicine in otolaryngology, and laryngology specifically, is possible, and as technology continues to advance we expect this technology to become more available to patients and other providers, thus enhancing access,” says Dr. Bryson “We also hope to develop consultative relationships over time.”
Distance health is happening in many specialties at Cleveland Clinic, and in 2017, the HNI staff started adding virtual visits for ongoing care to its array of services. This service will expand further in 2018.