Telemedicine and Deep brain stimulation - Current practices and recommendations

Vibhash D. Sharma, Delaram Safarpour, Shyamal H. Mehta, Nora Vanegas-Arroyave, Daniel Weiss, Jeffrey W. Cooney, Zoltan Mari, Alfonso Fasano

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


The use of telemedicine in the management of chronic neurological conditions including movement disorders has expanded over time. In addition to enabling remote access to specialized care, telemedicine has also been shown to reduce caregiver burden and to improve patient satisfaction. With the COVID-19 pandemic, implementation of telehealth for patients with movement disorders, particularly those with more severe mobility issues, has increased rapidly. Although telemedicine care has been shown to be effective for patients with various movement disorders, its utilization for patients with device aided therapies such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) is limited due to challenges related to adjusting these devices remotely and to the lack of consensus recommendations for using telemedicine in this patient population. Thus, guidelines for telemedicine and DBS will assist clinicians on the appropriate implementation of telemedicine to provide care to DBS patients. Optimizing the use of telemedicine for DBS will expand this type of therapy to remote locations with limited access to programming expertise, and also reduce the need for patient travel. Telemedicine is particularly important during the ongoing pandemic due to infection risk and limited access to clinic visits. In this article we review the currently available and emerging strategies for telemedicine and remote care for DBS. We then outline common principles and recommendations for telemedicine care in patients with DBS, review patient selection and best practices. Finally, we briefly discuss the current state of reimbursement for DBS telemedicine visits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-205
Number of pages7
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • DBS programming
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Remote care
  • Telemedicine
  • Teleneurology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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