Telehealth program for neuropsychology kicks off in Scotland

A Scottish hospital is opening a new virtual clinic to tackle the ticklish world of neuropsychology via telehealth. The program links the National Health Service (NHS) Greater Glasgow and Clyde's Institute of Neuroscience with clinics in Stornoway and Uist on the country's remote Western Isles. Patients can go to their local clinic, and receive a psychological evaluation and consult via video conference, as well as treatment recommendations from providers, Institute officials say.

The pilot program debuted this week with its first clinic in Stornoway, and is slated to run another six months, officials told the Stornoway Gazette. Patients who participate in the virtual visits will later be seen on the mainland, re-evaluated, and the results compared to determine the telehealth options' efficacy.

Institute officials weren't certain the video-enabled visit would work for neuropsychology exams, as they can often be lengthy and intensive. The first clinic, however, proved successful, researchers report. "I found the technology very effective, and was myself surprised at how well I could get a feel for the clinical problems over a television," lead psychologist Susan Copstick, Clinical Lead for Neuropsychology with the Institute, told the Gazette. "I am looking forward to continuing with the clinic."

The program is part of an emerging branch of mobile psychology treatment. We reported just about a year ago on a new smartphone app from Intel's Digital Health Group, which built a mobile phone app, which a Journal of Medical Internet Research report found helped raise emotional self-awareness and reduce stress.

And researchers are pushing hard to determine the efficacy, and best practice for what some are calling telemental health, or TMH. They're researching everything from whether mental health patients are willing to try telehealth options, to whether telehealth can work as a standalone therapy. Check out some of their findings at here.

For more information:
- read this Stornoway Gazette piece

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