An estimated 180,000 veterans are returning from service with mild to moderate brain injury, and 10% to 20% will experience persistent symptoms such as headaches, lack of concentration, depression and re-experiencing trauma, according to an IU news release.
“There have been many other studies on mild brain injury symptoms, but none on self-management related to the condition,” Kean said in the release. “Our healthcare system has never considered brain injury to be a chronic condition, but victims experience lifelong consequences, including neuro-degeneration and other progressive problems.”
Kean added that, traditionally, telemedicine has been used for collecting objective data measurements such as weight and blood pressure, whereas assessing brain injury will involve measuring emotions and feelings.
Kean's grant was awarded from the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Service.
Institutions participating in the pilot are: Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio; Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, Richmond, Va.; Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston; Richard Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indianapolis; and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.
Earlier this month, the VA announced it had set a goal to conduct more than 200,000 "telemental health" consultations in fiscal 2012.