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1.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 23(1): 292, 2023 Mar 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302202

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Telemedicine is already in use in daily practice, but appropriate reimbursement and physician payment is falling behind in many countries. One reason is the limited availability of research on the matter. This research therefore examined physicians' views on the optimal use and payment modalities for telemedicine. METHODS: Sixty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with physicians from 19 medical disciplines. Interviews were encoded using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Telephone and video televisits tend not to be used as a first patient contact, except for triage of patients in urgency situations. Several minimum required modalities for the payment system of televisits and telemonitoring were identified. For televisits these were: (i) remuneration of both telephone- and videovisits to increase healthcare equity, (ii) little or no differentiation between videovisit and in-person visit fee to make videovisits financially attractive and sustainable for physicians, (iii) differentiation of televisit fee per medical discipline, and (iv) quality requirements such as mandatory reporting in the patient's medical file. The identified minimum required modalities for telemonitoring were: (i) an alternative payment scheme than fee-for-service, (ii) remunerating not only physicians but also other involved health professionals, (iii) designating and remunerating a coordinator, and (iv) distinguishing sporadic vs. continuously follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: This research investigated the telemedicine usage behavior of physicians. Moreover, several minimum required modalities were identified for a physician-supported payment system of telemedicine, as these innovations necessitate challenging and innovation of the healthcare payment systems as well.


Subject(s)
Physicians , Telemedicine , Humans , Fee-for-Service Plans
2.
Lancet Digit Health ; 5(3): e125-e143, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2272967

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Digital health interventions have shown promising results for the management of type 2 diabetes, but a comparison of the effectiveness and implementation of the different modes is not currently available. Therefore, this study aimed to compare the effectiveness of SMS, smartphone application, and website-based interventions on improving glycaemia in adults with type 2 diabetes and report on their reach, uptake, and feasibility. METHODS: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched CINAHL, Cochrane Central, Embase, MEDLINE, and PsycInfo on May 25, 2022, for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that examined the effectiveness of digital health interventions in reducing glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in adults with type 2 diabetes, published in English from Jan 1, 2009. Screening was carried out using Covidence, and data were extracted following Cochrane's guidelines. The primary endpoint assessed was the change in the mean (and 95% CI) plasma concentration of HbA1c at 3 months or more. Cochrane risk of bias 2 was used to assess risk of bias. Data on reach, uptake, and feasibility were summarised narratively and data on HbA1c reduction were synthesised in a meta-analysis. Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation criteria was used to evaluate the level of evidence. The study was registered with PROSPERO, CRD42021247845. FINDINGS: Of the 3236 records identified, 56 RCTs from 24 regions (n=11 486 participants), were included in the narrative synthesis, and 26 studies (n=4546 participants) in the meta-analysis. 20 studies used SMS as the primary mode of delivery of the digital health intervention, 25 used smartphone applications, and 11 implemented interventions via websites. Smartphone application interventions reported higher reach compared with SMS and website-based interventions, but website-based interventions reported higher uptake compared with SMS and smartphone application interventions. Effective interventions, in general, included people with greater severity of their condition at baseline (ie, higher HbA1c) and administration of a higher dose intensity of the intervention, such as more frequent use of smartphone applications. Overall, digital health intervention group participants had a -0·30 (95% CI -0·42 to -0·19) percentage point greater reduction in HbA1c, compared with control group participants. The difference in HbA1c reduction between groups was statistically significant when interventions were delivered through smartphone applications (-0·42% [-0·63 to -0·20]) and via SMS (-0·37% [-0·57 to -0·17]), but not when delivered via websites (-0·09% [-0·64 to 0·46]). Due to the considerable heterogeneity between included studies, the level of evidence was moderate overall. INTERPRETATION: Smartphone application and SMS interventions, but not website-based interventions, were associated with better glycaemic control. However, the studies' heterogeneity should be recognised. Considering that both smartphone application and SMS interventions are effective for diabetes management, clinicians should consider factors such as reach, uptake, patient preference, and context of the intervention when deciding on the mode of delivery of the intervention. Nine in ten people worldwide own a feature phone and can receive SMS and four in five people have access to a smartphone, with numerous smartphone applications being available for diabetes management. Clinicians should familiarise themselves with this modality of programme delivery and encourage people with type 2 diabetes to use evidence-based applications for improving their self-management of diabetes. Future research needs to describe in detail the mediators and moderators of the effectiveness and implementation of SMS and smartphone application interventions, such as the optimal dose, frequency, timing, user interface, and communication mode to both further improve their effectiveness and to increase their reach, uptake, and feasibility. FUNDING: EU's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.


Subject(s)
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Adult , Feasibility Studies , Smartphone , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
3.
Lancet Digit Health ; 5(3): e144-e159, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2281735

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Digital health interventions are effective for hypertension self-management, but a comparison of the effectiveness and implementation of the different modes of interventions is not currently available. This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of SMS, smartphone application, and website interventions on improving blood pressure in adults with hypertension, and to report on their reach, uptake, and feasibility. METHODS: In this systematic review and meta-analysis we searched CINAHL Complete, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Ovid Embase, Ovid MEDLINE, and APA PsycInfo on May 25, 2022, for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published in English from Jan 1, 2009, that examined the effectiveness of digital health interventions on reducing blood pressure in adults with hypertension. Screening was carried out using Covidence, and data were extracted following Cochrane's guidelines. The primary endpoint was change in the mean of systolic blood pressure. Risk of bias was assessed with Cochrane Risk of Bias 2. Data on systolic and diastolic blood pressure reduction were synthesised in a meta-analysis, and data on reach, uptake and feasibility were summarised narratively. Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation criteria were used to evaluate the level of evidence. The study was registered with PROSPERO CRD42021247845. FINDINGS: Of the 3235 records identified, 29 RCTs from 13 regions (n=7592 participants) were included in the systematic review, and 28 of these RCTs (n=7092 participants) were included in the meta-analysis. 11 studies used SMS as the primary mode of delivery of the digital health intervention, 13 used smartphone applications, and five used websites. Overall, digital health intervention group participants had a -3·62 mm Hg (95% CI -5·22 to -2·02) greater reduction in systolic blood pressure, and a -2·45 mm Hg (-3·83 to -1·07) greater reduction in diastolic blood pressure, compared with control group participants. No statistically significant differences between the three different modes of delivery were observed for both the systolic (p=0·73) and the diastolic blood pressure (p=0·80) outcomes. Smartphone application interventions had a statistically significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure (-2·45 mm Hg [-4·15 to -0·74]); however, there were no statistically significant reductions for SMS interventions (-1·80 mm Hg [-4·60 to 1·00]) or website interventions (-3·43 mm Hg [-7·24 to 0·38]). Due to the considerable heterogeneity between included studies and the high risk of bias in some, the level of evidence was assigned a low overall score. Interventions were more effective among people with greater severity of hypertension at baseline. SMS interventions reported higher reach and smartphone application studies reported higher uptake, but differences were not statistically significant. INTERPRETATION: SMS, smartphone application, and website interventions were associated with statistically and clinically significant systolic and diastolic blood pressure reductions, compared with usual care, regardless of the mode of delivery of the intervention. This conclusion is tempered by the considerable heterogeneity of included studies and the high risk of bias in most. Future studies need to describe in detail the mediators and moderators of the effectiveness and implementation of these interventions, to both further improve their effectiveness as well as increase their reach, uptake, and feasibility. FUNDING: European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.


Subject(s)
Hypertension , Humans , Adult , Feasibility Studies , Blood Pressure , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
4.
Can J Cardiol ; 37(9): 1472-1479, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1397232

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Influenza vaccination is the most commonly recommended immune prevention strategy. However, data on influenza vaccination in patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) are scarce. In this study, our goals were to: (1) measure vaccination coverage rates (VCRs) for influenza in a large cohort of children, adolescents, and adults with CHD; (2) identify patient characteristics as predictors for vaccination; and (3) investigate the effect of influenza vaccination on hospitalization. METHODS: A nationwide cohort study in Belgium included 16,778 patients, representing 134,782 vaccination years, from the Belgian Congenital Heart Disease Database Combining Administrative and Clinical Data (BELCODAC). Data over 9 vaccination years (2006-2015) were used, and patients were stratified into 5 age cohorts: 6 months to 4 years; 5-17 years; 18-49 years; 50-64 years; and 65 years and older. RESULTS: In the respective age cohorts, the VCR was estimated to be 6.6%, 8.0%, 23.9%, 46.6%, and 72.8%. There was a steep increase in VCRs as of the age of 40 years. Multivariable logistic regression showed that higher anatomical complexity of CHD, older age, presence of genetic syndromes, and previous cardiac interventions were associated with significantly higher VCRs. Among adults, men had lower and pregnant women had higher VCRs. The association between influenza vaccination and all-cause hospitalization was not significant in this study. CONCLUSIONS: The influenza VCR in people with CHD is low, especially in children and adolescents. Older patients, particularly those with complex CHD, are well covered. Our findings should inform vaccination promotion strategies in populations with CHD.


Subject(s)
Heart Defects, Congenital , Influenza Vaccines/therapeutic use , Influenza, Human , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Belgium/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Heart Defects, Congenital/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
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