Feasibility and accuracy of teleconcussion for acute evaluation of suspected concussion

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess the feasibility and accuracy of telemedical concussion evaluations (teleconcussion) for real-time athletic sideline assessment of concussion, as such assessment may address the gap in access some populations of athletes have to providers with expertise in concussion evaluation.

Methods:

A cohort of 11 consecutive male collegiate football players with suspected concussion was assessed using Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC), King-Devick test (K-D), and modified Balance Error Scoring System (mBESS). A remote neurologist assessed each athlete using a telemedicine robot with real-time, 2-way audiovisual capabilities, while a sideline provider performed a simultaneous face-to-face assessment. After the assessment, a remove-from-play (RFP) determination was made. The remote and the face-to-face providers were blinded to each other’s examination findings and RFP decision until the end of the assessment.

Results:

The teleconcussion and face-to-face SAC were in agreement 100% of the time (6/6; 95% confidence interval [CI] 54%–100%). The mean (SD) difference between remote and sideline K-D times was 0.7 (1.4) seconds. Remote and sideline K-D times were within a 3-second difference 100% of the time (11/11; 95% CI 72%–100%). Remote and sideline mBESS scores were within 3 points 100% of the time (6/6; 95% CI 54%–100%). RFP decisions were in agreement 100% of the time (11/11; 95% CI 72%–100%).

Conclusions:

The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of teleconcussion for sideline concussion assessments. These data suggest a high level of agreement between remote and face-to-face providers with regard to examination findings and RFP determinations.

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