Volume 44 Number 7 2007
Pages 1017 — 1026

Abstract - Military and VA telemedicine systems for patients with traumatic brain injury

Philip Girard, MS

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC; Manchester Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Manchester, NH

Abstract — Telemedicine plays a critical role within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Health Administration by allowing the surveillance and care of patients who are isolated by geography, poverty, and disability. In military settings, telemedicine is being widely used to identify injury and illness and aid in the treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery of combat-wounded soldiers in theater. Rapid advances in both domains are transforming the way clinicians provide care, education, and support to patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their families. This article discusses the military and VA telemedicine capabilities that are supporting the care of service members and veterans with TBI. These capabilities include new technologies that enhance the identification of TBI, management of symptoms in theater, and application of proven technologies (interactive video, Internet, and World Wide Web) to improve overall care coordination throughout military and VA systems. The impact of distance learning, teleconsultation, telerehabilitation, and home telehealth programs is also described within this context.

Key words: brain injury, care coordination, concussion assessment, distance learning, home healthcare, rehabilitation, teleconsultation, telehealth, telemedicine, telerehabilitation.

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