Table of Contents
ISRN Otolaryngology
Volume 2013, Article ID 218265, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/218265
Review Article

Telemedicine in Tinnitus: Feasibility, Advantages, Limitations, and Perspectives

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Quebec City, QC, Canada G1V 0A6
2Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Québec (IUSMQ), 2601 chemin de la Canardière F-6517, Quebec City, QC, Canada G1J 2G3

Received 28 February 2013; Accepted 24 April 2013

Academic Editors: A. Horii and A. Shulman

Copyright © 2013 Matthieu J. Guitton. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Given the important patient needs for support and treatment, telemedicine—defined by medical approaches supported by the new technologies of information—could provide interesting alternative in tinnitus treatment. By analyzing the published tools and approaches which could be used in the context of telemedicine for tinnitus by health professionals or self-administrated by patients, this review summarizes, presents, and describes the principal telemedicine approaches available presently or in the near future to help assess or treat tinnitus or to offer support to tinnitus sufferers. Several pieces of evidence strongly support the feasibility of telemedicine approaches for tinnitus. Telemedicine can be used to help tinnitus sufferers at several points in the therapeutic process: for early screening, initial evaluation, and diagnosis; for optimizing therapeutic tools, particularly behavioural therapies and virtual reality-enhanced behavioral therapies; for long-term monitoring of patients and provision of online support. Several limitations are, however, discussed in order to optimize the safe development of such approaches. Cost effective and easy to implement, telemedicine is likely to represent an important part of the future of tinnitus therapies and should be progressively integrated by otolaryngologists.