To expand access to specialized disorders of consciousness evaluation, we established a second opinion service. Through this service, a doctor at Mass General with expertise in caring for patients with disorders of consciousness obtains information from your local clinical team, including medical records, brain scans, and other diagnostic test results, and uses this information to:

  1. Establish or clarify a disorders of consciousness diagnosis
  2. Evaluate the potential for ongoing recovery of function
  3. Suggest treatment options

We offer second opinions for patients residing in most states within the US and abroad.

Request a second opinion

Partnering with Caregivers

With smartphones and other video-capable devices, caregivers are now able to capture video of patient behaviors, voice or movements in their natural environment that may not be otherwise observed during a traditional clinical visit. Recognizing that a patient's level of consciousness may change with time and place, caregivers sometimes observe informative behaviors in the home environment that are not observed in the clinic or the hospital. The ability to capture and share video of these relevant behaviors may be an important tool for understanding the diagnosis and prognosis of disorders of consciousness.

When seeking a second opinion through the Mass General TeleConsciousness Service, we encourage submitting videos of potentially relevant behaviors that could shed light on a patient's level of consciousness. Videos may help us identify:

  • Hearing function (e.g., moving head or eyes to the location of a sound; response to music; startle in response to loud sound)

  • Language function (e.g., making the correct movement in response to a command such as “show me a thumbs up;” saying words)

  • Visual function (e.g., looking at or tracking a familiar face or reflection; reaching for an object)

  • Motor function (e.g., using or manipulating an object; gesturing; moving arms or legs in response to touch)

  • Voice and mouth function (e.g., moving the mouth in a way suggesting an attempt to speak; moving tongue or lips, producing sounds)

  • Communication (e.g., showing thumbs-up/down to indicate yes/no; shaking/nodding head)

  • Wakefulness (e.g., opening eyes)

Caregivers should provide any relevant videos to the referring clinician, who can include them in the request by emailing the Online Second Opinions team at