A systematic review of telehealth for the delivery of emergent neurosurgical care

in affiliation with the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies (CSNS)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: In 2017, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons published a statement in support of adopting telemedicine technologies in neurosurgery. The position statement detailed the principles for use and summarised the active efforts at the time to address barriers that limited expansion of use, such as reimbursement, liability, credentialing and patient confidentiality. The primary aim of this systematic literature review was to identify the available published literature on the application of telemedicine to neurosurgical patient care, with a specific focus on neurotrauma and emergent neurological conditions. Methods: This Level II systematic review of the literature was performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses 2009 guidelines. Following removal of duplicates, 359 studies were yielded from database query. Following application of inclusion and exclusion criteria, 78 articles were identified for full-text review. Results: Full-text screening yielded a total of 11 studies for the final analysis. The study interventions took place in seven unique countries and included both developed and developing nations. Data captured spanned the years 1997 to 2019. The total cumulative number of patients who received neurosurgical telemedicine consultations captured by this review was 37,224. Discussion: This review of the literature suggests that telemedicine in emergent settings offers safe, feasible, and cost-reducing methods of increasing access to high acuity neurosurgical care and may serve to limit unnecessary inter-facility transfers. As infrastructure and regulatory guidelines continue to evolve, neurosurgical patients, both domestic and abroad, will benefit from improved access to expertise afforded by telemedicine technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-268
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • Neurosurgery
  • neurotrauma
  • systematic review
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Systematic Review


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