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A tele-assessment system for monitoring treatment effects in subjects with spinal cord injury


We developed a method for remote measurement of balance and leg force in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). In a group of 21 patients, both telemedicine and conventional clinical assessments were conducted at baseline and six months later. Telemedicine assessments were successfully acquired and transmitted at first attempt. The time required to set up the telemedicine equipment, position the subject, perform the measurements, and then send the data to the university laboratory was approximately 30 minutes. After six months, several motor and sensory functions showed significant changes. There were significant correlations between changes in remotely-measured leg force and changes in several of the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) sensory and motor scores. Changes in balance did not show any significant correlations with changes in the ASIA scores. Intra-rater reliability was better than inter-rater reliability. Use of telemedicine to remotely monitor changes in patients with SCI appears promising.

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