Quantitative telemedicine ratings in Batten disease: implications for rare disease research.
To determine if remote administration of the Unified Batten Disease Rating Scale (UBDRS) Physical Impairment subscale by telemedicine is reliable and feasible across a broad range of disease severity. For the majority (n = 10) of subjects, the examination was performed by a nonphysician who had been trained to perform the examination but not to score the subjects. A trained rater scored the subjects via live video; a second trained rater performed a separate examination in person and scored that examination. For 3 telemedicine evaluations, examinations were performed and scored by a trained rater while a second trained rater simultaneously scored the subjects via live video. Reliability was determined by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Subjects (n = 13) represented a wide range of disease severity. Remote administration of the UBDRS Physical Impairment subscale had high interrater reliability across all subjects (ICC = 0.94). When only the subjects (n = 10) who had been examined by the nonphysician and scored remotely were included in the analysis, the reliability was unchanged (ICC = 0.95). The UBDRS Physical Impairment subscale is reliable and feasible for remote administration. Telemedicine has the potential to be a useful tool in rare neurologic disease research and clinical assessment.