TeleNeurology - Inpatient

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TeleNeurology-Inpatient is a Swedish TeleHealth service that makes it possible for a patient to have an initial routine or urgent neurological evaluation when that type of exam is not readily available in a hospital near his or her home.

The Swedish TeleNeurology-Inpatient Program builds on technology the Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) uses to provide TeleStroke services. This technology links the patient and his or her care provider with an SNI neurologist. TeleNeurology-Inpatient offers the fastest and easiest access to a thorough neurological exam for any type of neurological condition – without requiring travel outside the patient’s community.

How Does TeleNeurology-Inpatient Work?

ASC_8857webTeleNeurology-Inpatient uses video conferencing and other specialized telemedicine equipment. This technology allows an SNI neurologist in Seattle to complete a thorough examination as if the patient and the neurologist were in the same room.

Using computer monitors located at SNI and in a hospital, the patient and the neurologist can see each other. The patient, and the patient’s doctor and any family members who are present can interact with the neurologist – just like any typical doctor’s visit.

How Does the Neurologist Conduct the Remote Exam?

Just about any initial neurological exam that can be done in person can be done remotely thanks to the high-tech equipment that is now available and with the assistance of a telepresenter. A telepresenter is a specially trained health-care provider who helps conduct the evaluation and transmit critical information to the SNI neurologist.

Watch a video to learn more about what the telepresenter does

ASC_8781webTo begin the exam, the telepresenter prepares the patient and the TeleHealth equipment for the exam. The telepresenter also establishes a secure TeleHealth Internet connection with the SNI TeleNeurology team in Seattle.

Checking Reflexes

The telepresenter tests the patient’s reflexes, checks for motor function and strength, and facilitates an examination of the cranial nerves. Using telehealth video conferencing, the SNI neurologist watches and assesses the patient’s response.



Swedish Neuroscience Institute (Seattle)


Retina Exam

The telepresenter uses a digital ophthalmoscope to look into the patient’s eye, which makes it possible for the neurologist to evaluate the retina, the head of the optic nerve and the retinal arteries. This ophthalmoscope, which looks just like the one used in regular exams, is custom fitted with a tiny camera and connected to the computer. Sending these high-resolution images via a secure Internet connection allows real-time viewing and evaluation of the retina by the SNI neurologist.



Swedish Neuroscience Institute (Seattle)


Ear Exam

An ENT/otoscope allows a care provider to look inside the ear and examine the outer ear canal, ear drum and middle ear, and, when appropriate, to examine the throat. For TeleNeurology-Inpatient, however, the telepresenter uses an ENT/otoscope that is fitted with a tiny camera and is connected to the computer so the SNI neurologist can immediately view the high-resolution images and evaluate the ear.



Swedish Neuroscience Institute (Seattle)


Listening to the Heart and Lungs

TeleNeurology-Inpatient uses Bluetooth technology to transmit heart and lung sounds to the SNI neurologist. The telepresenter will use a special stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs. The only difference between a regular stethoscope and this high-tech version is that this electronic stethoscope simultaneously transmits the sounds to SNI so the telepresenter and the SNI neurologist hear the same sounds at the same time.



Swedish Neuroscience Institute (Seattle)


Follow-Up Visits

Sometimes a TeleNeurology-Inpatient consult concludes with the recommendation for an on-site visit with one of SNI’s neurologists for further evaluation or a transfer to the hospital at Swedish Cherry Hill, which is a regional referral center for all levels of neurological care. An initial TeleNeurology-Inpatient consult, however, is a great way to receive an initial first or second opinion in order to save a trip for a condition that doesn’t require an advanced level of care, or to speed up the transfer process when necessary.

What Are the Benefits of TeleNeurology-Inpatient?

Many communities do not have a full array of specialists available for patient consultations. Even if a neurologist has a clinic in a particular community, neurology consults may not be available around the clock. TeleNeurology-Inpatient helps fill that gap and provides exams to patients who require initial routine or urgent neurological evaluations.