Remote Consultation: Case Study #2

May 9, 2008


Additional material for "Remote Consultation Offers a Valuable Alternative to Face-to-Face Medical Treatment"—read the article

A 58-year-old man living in a remote region of North Dakota was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme after suffering a seizure. His physician team recommended against a surgical resection in favor of a biopsy, then offered a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

His family requested a remote opinion (to be arranged by the man's family doctor) because the patient's performance status was poor, and travel to a large medical center would have been difficult. The patient's data was reviewed and the opinion offered by the physician consultant agreed with the decision to not perform a resection because the tumor crossed the midline, and also agreed that the treatment suggested was the standard of care for the disease. Additionally, using readily available public search engines, the consultation contained a listing of therapeutic treatment trials that the patient would be eligible for at this time (and in the future if/when his tumor progressed). It also listed the treatment centers closest to his home where he could go to receive these experimental treatments.

The patient's family was pleased with the report. They found the remote opinion to be complete, formulated in the best interest of the patient, and considerably more convenient/less expensive than flying the patient and his spouse across the country in search of an answer that may or may not have been helpful. As a result of the consultation, the family was satisfied that they left no stone unturned in terms of the man's treatment.