TMH Offers New Technology for DBS Patients

June 24, 2021

The new NeuroSphere™ Virtual Clinic allows physicians to both communicate with patients and provide new stimulation treatment settings in real time regardless of location*

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) is the first hospital in the Big Bend region to implement Abbott’s NeuroSphere™ Virtual Clinic into the treatment paradigm for patients receiving Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) programming therapy for movement disorders. Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the first-of-its-kind remote patient care system allows providers to communicate with patients, ensure proper settings and functionality and prescribe new treatment settings remotely as needed.

The new system is designed to change the treatment approach for patients who recently underwent DBS surgery and need to receive device programming. The technology bridges physicians to patients who don’t live close to Tallahassee, are unduly burdened by access to care or who are unable to go to the doctor because of circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes made in the app are relayed directly to the patient's compatible iOS smartphone or Apple iPod touch mobile device.

“DBS is like a pacemaker for the brain,” explained Matthew Davis, MD, functional neurosurgeon at Tallahassee Memorial. “While there’s no cure for Parkinson’s disease, the implanted electrodes and pacemaker-type device – which has a battery life of three to five years – provides an entirely new, life-preserving treatment option for those living with the disease and other movement disorders. DBS can lessen symptoms, reduce the need for prescription medications and significantly improve quality of life.”

Tallahassee Memorial’s Parkinson’s & Movement Disorders Program is focused on diagnosing and treating a variety of neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and essential tremor. With close collaboration among specialists, the program’s unique approach utilizes experts in neurology, neurosurgery, neuropsychology, occupational, physical and speech therapy, and nutrition to create individualized treatment plans for patients suffering from the debilitating effects of a movement disorder. The establishment of this program also offers patients in the Big Bend region access to the latest treatment technology, DBS, for the first time ever.

“TMH is proud to now offer DBS patients Abbott’s remote patient care system,” shared Dr. Davis. “This system helps streamline the DBS programming process and allows patients, especially those in rural areas, the opportunity to receive routine follow-up programming in real time after their DBS surgery from the comfort of their home – Saving time, money and resources.”

Learn more about the Parkinson’s & Movement Disorders Program at Tallahassee Memorial

*Anywhere with a cellular or Wi-Fi connection and sufficiently charged patient controller.