Expediting telehealth use in clinical research studies: recommendations for overcoming barriers in North America
Despite data supporting the rapid adoption of telehealth in the delivery of clinical care in North America, the implementation of telehealth visits in clinical research studies has faced critical barriers. These challenges include: (1) variations in state licensure requirements for telehealth; (2) disparities in access to telehealth among disadvantaged populations; (3) lack of consistency among individual Investigational Review Boards (IRBs). Each barrier prevents the systematic conversion of research protocols to include telehealth visits. The Parkinson’s Foundation and members of the Parkinson Study Group submit this Comment to highlight current challenges to implementing telehealth visits for clinical research studies. Our objective is to provide a consensus statement emphasizing the urgent need for regulators to standardize adoption of telehealth practices and to propose recommendations to reduce the burden for implementation in existing research study protocols.