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National Parkinson Foundation Partners with SBR Health to Provide Increased Access to Expert Parkinson's Disease Care

MIAMI, Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- People living with Parkinson's disease today often face challenges when seeking care, including disability, distance from medical centers, and distribution of doctors. In fact, 42 percent of those diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and more living with the condition, do not see a neurologist for their care. Now, a national study will attempt to disrupt the status quo and bring expert Parkinson's care directly into patients' homes using video visit technology.

"The idea that we can provide care to individuals with Parkinson's disease regardless of where they live is both a simple and revolutionary concept," according to University of Rochester neurologist and study author Ray Dorsey, MD.

The Connect.Parkinson study, with support from the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, will enroll some 200 people with Parkinson's disease this year and use simple, secure web-based videoconferencing software by SBR Health to examine the effectiveness and feasibility of using video calls to deliver care into the homes of people with Parkinson's disease. 

Neurologists participating in the study will use the same video technology in place at some of today's top healthcare organizations, including Partners Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Joslin Diabetes and others, to connect to patients from a computer, tablet and or smartphone to assess their condition and develop a treatment plan.

"Technology has been slow to infiltrate medicine and, when it has, it mostly has been supporting a model of care developed in the 1800's, which remains essentially unchanged. For the first time, we are looking at redesigning care from first principals," said Peter Schmidt, PhD, NPF's Vice President, Research and Professional Programs. "We are looking at the best way to help people using all the resources we now have at our disposal."

SBR Health (www.sbrhealth.com), an innovative health technology company that provides video visit solutions that enable the creation of virtual health delivery networks for chronic conditions like Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure and more, will provide the technology platform for this study.

"Instead of the patient having to travel to the provider, we're bringing the provider to the patient, which for patients with chronic illnesses who may have difficulty traveling and or are far from specialty care, we're changing the care delivery paradigm and making care push-button simple with video technology," said Christopher Herot, Chief Executive Officer of SBR Health.

As chronic conditions affect an estimated 140 million Americans and account for more than 75 percent of healthcare spending today, the goal of the study is to demonstrate the effectiveness of using video technology in care for patients. Once scaled, this effort could bring together the country's leading healthcare organizations and potentially transform care in unprecedented ways, while improving patients' health and overall quality of life.

"This research seeks to demonstrate that we can reach anyone, anywhere with a given condition," said Dorsey. "If we can successfully remove the barriers to telemedicine, this approach will ultimately allow more patients with Parkinson's disease to live independently in their homes, while still getting the care they need."

To learn more about the study or to enroll, call the National Parkinson Foundation's toll-free Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636), or visit Connect.parkinson.org.

About Parkinson's Disease(PD)
Affecting an estimated one million Americans and four to six million worldwide, PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's and is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. It is associated with a progressive loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression) as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety). There is no cure for PD and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.

About the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF)
Founded in 1957, the National Parkinson Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of care for people with Parkinson's disease through research, education and outreach. NPF has funded more than $180 million in care, research and support services. For more information about NPF, visit www.parkinson.org, or call the NPF Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636).

Contact: Leilani Pearl, 305-537-9907, [email protected]

SOURCE National Parkinson Foundation

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