The Penn Brain Tumor Center is using telemedicine technology to enable its expert physicians to give virtual second opinions to brain tumor patients.
Under the new program, a Penn neurosurgeon will coordinate with a patient’s local doctor to evaluate the medical history, current diagnosis and imaging studies to make a recommendation for the optimal treatment.
“Receiving a brain tumor diagnosis is a life-changing event, and it can be particularly difficult when facing multiple treatment choices,” says Steven Brem, MD, co-director of the Brain Tumor Center and director of Neurosurgical Oncology. “Thanks to the power of telemedicine, we can provide second opinions to eligible patients, without travel, helping patients and caregivers understand their diagnosis and make the right choice for a treatment plan that’s best for them.”
Earlier this year, Penn Medicine created a Center for Connected Care to centralize the health system’s telemedicine activities into the largest telehealth hub in the Philadelphia area and one of the largest of its kind in the nation.
The new telemedicine second opinion program for brain tumors will be initially offered to eligible patients in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington DC, with the intention of expanding it in 2019.
The nationally recognized Penn Brain Tumor Center, which performs the most brain tumor surgeries in Pennsylvania, provides diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant brain tumors. Patients who wish to seek care at Penn Medicine will be connected with the appropriate team for treatment, according to the announcement.
“Telemedicine has elevated care options, providing a seamless experience for patients—particularly for those who need to travel long distances or have trouble traveling for appointments,” adds Brem. “Programs like this empower patients and caregivers in the decision-making process. Through second opinions for brain tumor, we’re looking forward to connecting with patients through their local care team to help bring the best medical care possible to patients, regardless of where they live.”