ST. LOUIS – SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital is the first to offer a new virtual clinic through its deep brain stimulation (DBS) technology for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease or other neurological disorders.
DBS is a neurosurgical procedure that uses implanted electrodes and electrical stimulation to treat movement disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, and other conditions. The device looks like a pacemaker and is placed under the skin in a patient’s upper chest. A wire travels under the skin that connects the device to the electrodes in the patient’s brain.
This new virtual technology from Abbott allows SLUCare’s neurosurgeons the ability to program the DBS system and adjust the patient’s treatment remotely. Traditionally, patients who needed adjustments would have to make regular appointments and plan for travel time to and from each appointment.
For patients outside of the area, time traveling to and from appointments was a hardship, especially since many patients who suffer from tremors can no longer drive and must depend on a caretaker.
This first-of-its-kind option allows SLUCare physicians to consult with patients through a secure in-app video chat, making their care that much more accessible, especially for those who do not live close to SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital.
Patients who have their DBS generator implanted can now use a secure Bluetooth connection to access their generator and the neurologist can make and see the adjustments in real-time as if the patient is inside their office.
This innovative technology is removing barriers to treatment and allowing patients to get their needed adjustments completed from the convenience of their homes.
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