With the launch of Theranica Bioelectronics’ initiative for wider distribution of their product, Nervivio, via UpStart’s telemedicine platform, it is certainly beneficial for the industry to consider the impact of telemedicine on the future of migraine research. Affecting around 38 million people in the United States and about 10% of people worldwide, migraines are among the most prevalent diseases in the world today. While a change in lifestyle, such as a change in diet, exercise, and/or stress management, cannot be overlooked in migraine prevention and treatment, the need for alternative methods of intervention is strong.
As the average patient looks to spend less time in waiting rooms and more time monitoring their own treatments, we take a look at the current issues facing the industry today and how telemedicine strategies may be able to resolve them.
Where are the problems?
The fact is that, right now, medical professionals in the US are overburdened; an article by The New York Times reveals ‘patients are treated like widgets, and doctors and nurses are treated like assembly-line employees’. The same report finds that there are actually more administrators than doctors available to respond to patient needs, with the current ratio between staff at 10:1. This needs to change if research sites hope to give patients a positive and customized experience.
A study by IQVIA also estimates that the US spends around $2.9 trillion on healthcare every year, which is more than any other nation per annum. Yet, it is also assumed that around $200 billion of these costs could be avoided. Some of these unnecessary costs cover travel expenses for appointments and medication non-adherence - both of which can be easily avoided if researchers employ a series of telemedicine strategies.
How does telemedicine work?
The key benefit to telemedicine is an increase in the quality of patient care. As patients can be digitally linked to research sites, candidates can now voice any worries or concerns via a technological platform - with some platforms allowing 24/7 modes of communication. Today, there are around 4.57 billion active internet users as of April 2020; meaning that the Western world is more connected than ever before. This, in turn, opens up opportunities for the clinical research industry to take advantage of.
As in-person medical care is an increasing challenge for many, telemedicine will now save a vast amount of patients a trip to the pharmacy. A report published by the American Migraine Foundation backed up these claims by recommending telemedicine as an alternative to traditional clinical protocol, proving this change to be especially beneficial under social-distancing regulation. While traditional medications are still recommended, the use of telemedicine will be essential for providing alternatives that we are now seeing emerge from the industry, with Nervivio being only the first in a long line of industry-reforming solutions.
Here at Citruslabs, we are dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest clinical research news and developments. As a company we have a wealth of experience in the field; with the success of our #1 health app, Mindmate, and a trial recruitment database with over 3 million patients on record. Not only this, we are proud to offer all COVID-19 clinical trials free access to our patient recruitment dashboard.