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Penn Medicine launches brain tumor telemedicine program

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | December 26, 2018
Health IT Telemedicine
Penn Medicine has launched a telemedicine
program to offer second opinions on the
diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors
Penn Medicine is opening the virtual doors to its expertise for brain tumor assessment with the launch of a new telemedicine program.

Deeming the initiative a “second opinion program,” the Penn Brain Tumor Center is offering up its team of physicians as a source of review focused solely on the diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant brain tumors, as part of the first phase of the program.

“Receiving a brain tumor diagnosis is a life-changing event and it can be particularly difficult when facing multiple treatment choices,” Steven Brem, co-director of the Brain Tumor Center and director of Neurosurgical Oncology, said in a statement. “Thanks to the power of telemedicine, we can provide second opinions to eligible patients, without travel, helping patients and caregivers understand their diagnosis and make the right choice for a treatment plan that’s best for them.”

The program will be rolled out in phases, and will initially be offered to patients in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C., with the Penn hoping to expand its reach throughout the next year.

Under it, a Penn neurosurgeon will work with the patient's local provider and review his or her medical history, current diagnosis and any available images to make a recommendation for the best form of treatment.

Patients or caregivers simply fill out an online form which is transmitted through a secure cloud-based system. Once the documentation is received, the team at Penn will reach out with next steps, with patients who wish to seek care at Penn Medicine connected with the appropriate team for treatment.

“Telemedicine has elevated care options, providing a seamless experience for patients—particularly for those who need to travel long distances or have trouble traveling for appointments,” said Brem. “Programs like this empower patients and caregivers in the decision-making process. Through second opinions for brain tumor, we’re looking forward to connecting with patients through their local care team to help bring them the best medical care possible, regardless of where they live.”

Advanced ICU Care recently extended its telemedicine services to Wake Forest Baptist Health, an academic medical center and health care system based in North Carolina, offering care to high-acuity patients, while Diversified Radiology has agreed to become part of US Radiology Specialists’ nationwide radiology network.

In addition to brain tumors, Penn Medicine offers telemedicine programs through Penn Medicine Connected Care for transplant, dermatology, ophthalmology, radiology, adolescent and young adult medicine, sleep medicine, and complex neurological conditions, as well as veterans' mental health and post-operative surgical visits in various specialties.

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