MedicalResearch.com recently posted an interview with Dr. Judy Tan from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. The topic of the interview was to discuss preliminary results of her groups study of a tele-nephrology service.
Dr. Tan comments that chronic kidney disease affects 26 million people in the United States. As in other specialties of medicine, many patients have difficulty with access to care. In order to meet the demand of the patients at the Hudson Valley Veterans Affairs Medical Center, her group developed an outpatient tele-nephrology service. The technology uses medical video conferencing equipment and customized medical instruments such as stethoscopes. Their hypothesis is that clinical outcomes would be comparable when care was delivered via the tele-nephrology service compared to in-person visits.
As an initial step, Dr. Tans group has enrolled patients in the tele-nephrology program. The preliminary data shows that in the patients followed for 1 year, estimated GFR was well preserved, systolic blood pressure was reduced, urine protein-creatinine ratio decreased, and the majority of patients were on ACE Inhibitors. As a next step, the Dr. Tan hopes to prove non-inferiority to a group of patients treated with conventional in-person care. If her hypothesis proves correct, she hopes to expand services further and address other types of kidney disease.