DOI: 10.3389/fped.2022.1028833; PMCID: PMC9614345
The concept of Epilepsy Treatment Gap (ETG) refers to the proportion of people with epilepsy who are not being appropriately treated. The ETG in the USA approaches 10%, with historically underserved populations and rural populations disproportionately affected. The ETG in Low-and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) is reported to be 5-10 times higher than in high-income countries. The growing availability of reliable internet access offers a unique opportunity to provide better care to children and adults with epilepsy. In this paper we explore various telehealth (TH) initiatives that have leveraged the availability of easy and free access to an internet connection in reducing the ETG in underserved regions of the world. We describe several interventions targeted to reach patients and providers in rural areas of the United States and in LMIC. First, we examine initiatives that were developed to improve patient access to coordinated care and education regarding epilepsy and seizures. Next, we describe an intervention designed to improve knowledge of epilepsy diagnosis and treatment for providers in LMIC. We conclude with a brief overview of the use of virtual tools in diminishing the ETG.
education; epilpesy; neurology; telehealth; treatment gap; virtual medicine
Le Pichon JB, Horton S, Abdelmoity O, et al. The use of virtual tools in narrowing the impact of health disparities in neurology. Front Pediatr. 2022;10:1028833. Published 2022 Oct 14. doi:10.3389/fped.2022.1028833