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Telehealth, Exercise the Focus of World Parkinson’s Disease Day

STAFF REPORTS

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) is helping lead two advocacy efforts to increase awareness of the value of telehealth for individuals with Parkinson’s.  These activities coincide with World Parkinson’s Disease Day on April 11. 
“The prevalence of Parkinson’s disease is increasing and the number of people with the disease is expected to more than double in the next 20 years,” said neurologist Ray Dorsey, M.D., director of the URMC Center for Health + Technology (CHeT). “Telemedicine, along with other technologies, will be key to meeting this growing demand and will serve to expand access to quality care, help reduce the burden of caregivers, and potentially lower costs.”
CHeT is working with the Parkinson’s Foundation to advocate for telehealth by encouraging all of the Foundation’s 18 Centers of Excellence to provide at least one telemedicine visit on April 11. Dorsey has undertaken several studies over the last decade to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of connecting Parkinson’s patients with specialists using telemedicine. Results of a recent study funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute demonstrated that telemedicine can successfully deliver quality care.
In addition, CHeT has partnered with Burn Along – an online video fitness and wellness platform that offers hundreds of classes at all fitness levels – in inviting individuals with Parkinson’s disease, caregivers, family members, and advocates to participate in free classes to raise awareness of the importance of exercising for Parkinson disease. Studies have shown that exercise can help keep the symptoms of Parkinson’s at bay and may even slow the progression of the disease.
Burn Along has joined with Dance for PD – a Brooklyn-based company that has created dance classes for people with Parkinson’s – to produce videos for distribution on their website.  Individuals who sign up for the free classes with Burn Along on April 11 will have access to all of the site’s video content for the entire month of April.
For more information or to sign up for free fitness classes for the month of April, visit: http://fit.burnalong.com/world-parkinson-day/