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1.
Oncology (Williston Park) ; 34(9): 377-378, 2020 09 15.
Article | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2206550

ABSTRACT

The telehealth explosion was facilitated by the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, but what happens when the crisis is over? Will there be lasting changes to the practice of medicine and delivery of care, or will providers and patients alike be eager to go back to the "old way" of doing things? Jeremy Gabrysch, MD, a physician and CEO of Remedy, an on-demand urgent care service that delivers doctors right to your front door, discusses what the future of telehealth may hold.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care , Reimbursement Mechanisms , Standard of Care , Telemedicine/trends , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/economics , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/standards
3.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(1): e21327, 2021 01 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141283

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, has forced the health care delivery structure to change rapidly. The pandemic has further widened the disparities in health care and exposed vulnerable populations. Health care services caring for such populations must not only continue to operate but create innovative methods of care delivery without compromising safety. We present our experience of incorporating telemedicine in our university hospital-based outpatient clinic in one of the worst-hit areas in the world. OBJECTIVE: Our goal is to assess the adoption of a telemedicine service in the first month of its implementation in outpatient practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also want to assess the need for transitioning to telemedicine, the benefits and challenges in doing so, and ongoing solutions during the initial phase of the implementation of telemedicine services for our patients. METHODS: We conducted a prospective review of clinic operations data from the first month of a telemedicine rollout in the outpatient adult ambulatory clinic from April 1, 2020, to April 30, 2020. A telemedicine visit was defined as synchronous audio-video communication between the provider and patient for clinical care longer than 5 minutes or if the video visit converted to a telephone visit after 5 minutes due to technical problems. We recorded the number of telemedicine visits scheduled, visits completed, and the time for each visit. We also noted the most frequent billing codes used based on the time spent in the patient care and the number of clinical tasks (eg, activity suggested through diagnosis or procedural code) that were addressed remotely by the physicians. RESULTS: During the study period, we had 110 telemedicine visits scheduled, of which 94 (85.4%) visits were completed. The average duration of the video visit was 35 minutes, with the most prolonged visit lasting 120 minutes. Of 94 patients, 24 (25.54%) patients were recently discharged from the hospital, and 70 (74.46%) patients were seen for urgent care needs. There was a 50% increase from the baseline in the number of clinical tasks that were addressed by the physicians during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: There was a high acceptance of telemedicine services by the patients, which was evident by a high show rate during the COVID-19 pandemic in Detroit. With limited staffing, restricted outpatient work hours, a shortage of providers, and increased outpatient needs, telemedicine was successfully implemented in our practice.


Subject(s)
Pandemics/prevention & control , Telemedicine/methods , Ambulatory Care/methods , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Michigan , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Patient Satisfaction , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , Telemedicine/trends , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Tertiary Care Centers/trends
4.
Rural Remote Health ; 22(4): 7196, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2146089

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Remote consultations help reduce contact between people and prevent cross-contamination. Little is known about the changes in consultation in European rural primary care during the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. The purpose of this mixed-methods cross-sectional study was to find out more about the effects of the pandemic on changes in patient consultations in European rural primary care. METHODS: A key informant survey from 16 member countries of the European Rural and Isolated Practitioners Association (EURIPA) was undertaken using a self-developed questionnaire. The steering committee of this project, called EURIPA Covid-19 study, developed a semi-structured questionnaire with 68 questions, 21 of which included free-text comments. Proportions were calculated for dichotomized or categorized data, and means were calculated for continuous data. Multivariate analysis by logistic regression model was used to assess the association of multiple variables. RESULTS: A total of 406 questionnaires from primary care providers (PCPs) in 16 European countries were collected; 245 respondents (60.5%) were females, 152 PCPs were rural (37.5%), 124 semi-rural (30.5%). Mean age of the respondents was 45.9 years (standard deviation (SD) 11.30) while mean seniority (length of experience) was 18.2 years (SD 11.6). A total of 381 (93.8%) respondents were medical doctors. Significant differences were found between countries in adopting alternative arrangements to face-to-face consultation: remote teleconsultation is well appreciated by both healthcare professionals and patients, but the most common way of remote consultation remains telephone consultation. A factor significantly inversely associated with the adoption of video consultation was the seniority of the PCP (odds ratio 1.19, 95% confidence interval 1.02-1.40, p=0.03). CONCLUSION: Telephone consultation is the most common form of remote consultation. The adoption of video-consultation is inversely related to the seniority of the informants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Remote Consultation , Telemedicine , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Telephone , Telemedicine/methods
5.
Orv Hetil ; 163(29): 1159-1165, 2022 Jul 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2140891

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The impact of digitalisation on healthcare has become one of the most important research areas in recent years. The COVID-19 epidemic has been a major driver in this process. OBJECTIVE: In our nationally representative, population-based survey (n = 1500), we sought to find out how patients in Hungary use digital health tools, what the advantages and disadvantages of introducing and using these technologies are, and how this is transforming the doctor-patient relationship. METHODS: We conducted a national representative telephone questionnaire survey (CATI). The sample is representative of the adult population of Hungary in terms of gender, age, type of settlement and education. RESULTS: 81.3% of the respondents use the internet - 87.6% of whom use it in relation to health and illness, too. This is 71.2% of the total sample. Websites (76.3%) and social media (47.3%) are the main sources of information on the internet; e-prescription and online appointment booking are the most known by patients (92.6% and 85.2%, respectively), while almost half of the respondents would like to try telehealth and would welcome a recommendation from their doctor on reliable websites, apps and sensors. Our results highlighted that the effect of the type of settlement on access to digital health is not significant, but that the effect of age, education and gender is decisive. CONCLUSION: Data from our national representative population survey indicate that the use of digital health solutions is already an integral part of care and that there is a strong demand for further digital options. Orv Hetil. 2022; 163(29): 1159-1165.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Digitalis , Telemedicine , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Hungary , Physician-Patient Relations , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/methods
6.
J Telemed Telecare ; 28(10): 764-770, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2138416

ABSTRACT

Long-term weight loss can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes for people living with obesity and reduce complications for patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. We investigated whether a telehealth lifestyle-coaching program (Liva) leads to long-term (24 months) weight loss compared to usual care. In a randomized controlled trial, n = 340 participants living with obesity with or without type 2 diabetes were enrolled and randomized via an automated computer algorithm to an intervention group (n = 200) or to a control group (n = 140). The telehealth lifestyle-coaching program comprised of an initial one-hour face-to-face motivational interview followed by asynchronous telehealth coaching. The behavioural change techniques used were enabled by individual live monitoring. The primary outcome was a change in body weight from baseline to 24 months. Data were assessed for n = 136 participants (40%), n = 81 from the intervention group and n = 55 from the control group, who completed the 24-month follow-up. After 24 months mean body weight and body mass index were reduced significantly for completers in both groups, but almost twice as much was registered for those in the intervention group which was not significant between groups -4.4 (CI -6.1; -2.8) kg versus -2.5 (CI -3.9; -1.1) kg, P = 0.101. Haemoglobin A1c was significantly reduced in the intervention group -3.1 (CI -5.0; -1.2) mmol/mol, but not in the control group -0.2 (CI -2.4; -2.0) mmol/mol without a significant between group difference (P = 0.223). Low completion was partly due to coronavirus disease 2019. Telehealth lifestyle coaching improve long-term weight loss (> 24 months) for obese people with and without type 2 diabetes compared to usual care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , Mentoring , Telemedicine , Humans , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/prevention & control , Weight Loss , Telemedicine/methods , Life Style , Obesity/therapy , Primary Health Care
7.
Tijdschr Gerontol Geriatr ; 52(4)2021 Dec 07.
Article in Dutch | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2146516

ABSTRACT

The use of telemedicine (telephone and video consultations) has increased over the past decades and has grown substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Multimorbidity, visual - and hearing impairment, cognitive impairment and lack of technical skills might complicate the use of telemedicine in frail elderly patients. Limited research on this topic is has been performed. The aim of this article is to investigate which elements of care could be performed by telemedicine and what patient characteristics are useful in selecting patients for telemedicine. To get more information about the use of telemedicine in frail elderly patients, an online survey was conducted amongst caregivers working in geriatric outpatient care departments in the Netherlands. 67 caregivers completed the survey. The results indicate there is limited experience in video consultations in this population. The experience so far is mainly positive. Caregivers indicate the following elements of care could be performed by telemedicine: follow-up consultations, taking an (hetero)anamnesis, medication review, conversations with multiple contacts or caregivers and informing about test results. Our advice is to decide in dialogue with patient and caregiver, which form of consultation is feasible, desirable and appropriate for every individual process and consultation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , Aged , Caregivers , Outpatients , Frail Elderly , Netherlands , Pandemics , Emergency Service, Hospital , COVID-19/epidemiology , Telemedicine/methods
8.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0263549, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119319

ABSTRACT

Since the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a rapid uptake and utilisation of telemedicine in all aspects of healthcare. This presents a key opportunity in surgical site infection surveillance. Remote follow up methods have been used via telephone, with photographs and questionnaires for post-operative reviews with varying results. This review therefore aims to comprehensively synthesise available evidence for the diagnostic accuracy of all forms of SSI telemedicine monitoring. The protocol has been established as per both PRISMA-P (S1 Table) and the Cochrane handbook for reviews of diagnostic test accuracy. Medline, Embase, CENTRAL and CINAHL will be searched using a complete search strategy developed with librarian input, in addition to google scholar and hand searching. All study designs with patients over 18 and undergone a primarily closed surgical procedure will be eligible. Index tests will include all forms of telemedicine and a subgroup analysis performed for each of these. Comparative tests must include face to face review, and all reference standards will be included again for sub-group analyses. Search results will be screened by two investigators independently with a third providing consensus review on disagreements. Methodological quality will be assessed using the QUADAS-2 tool, first validated by two investigators as per the Cochrane handbook. Exploratory analysis will formulate summary receiver operating characteristic curves and forest plots with estimates of sensitivity and specificity of the included studies. Sources of heterogeneity will be identifying and investigated through further analysis. Potential benefits of telemedicine integration in surgical practice will reduce cost and travel time to patients in addition to avoiding wasted clinic appointments, important considerations in a peri-pandemic era. To avoid missed or further complications, there must be confidence in the ability to diagnose infection. This review will systematically determine whether telemedicine is accurate for surgical site infection diagnosis, which methods are well established and if further research is indicated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , Surgical Wound Infection/diagnosis , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Pandemics , COVID-19/diagnosis , Systematic Reviews as Topic , Meta-Analysis as Topic , Telemedicine/methods , Review Literature as Topic
9.
Surg Endosc ; 36(12): 9304-9312, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119131

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic caused many surgical providers to conduct outpatient evaluations using remote audiovisual conferencing technology (i.e., telemedicine) for the first time in 2020. We describe our year-long institutional experience with telemedicine in several general surgery clinics at an academic tertiary care center and examine the relationship between area-based socioeconomic measures and the likelihood of telemedicine participation. METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of our outpatient telemedicine utilization among four subspecialty clinics (including two acute care and two elective surgery clinics). Geocoding was used to link patient visit data to area-based socioeconomic measures and a multivariable analysis was performed to examine the relationship between socioeconomic indicators and patient participation in telemedicine. RESULTS: While total outpatient visits per month reached a nadir in April 2020 (65% decrease in patient visits when compared to January 2020), there was a sharp increase in telemedicine utilization during the same month (38% of all visits compared to 0.8% of all visits in the month prior). Higher rates of telemedicine utilization were observed in the two elective surgery clinics (61% and 54%) compared to the two acute care surgery clinics (14% and 9%). A multivariable analysis demonstrated a borderline-significant linear trend (p = 0.07) between decreasing socioeconomic status and decreasing odds of telemedicine participation among elective surgery visits. A sensitivity analysis to examine the reliability of this trend showed similar results. CONCLUSION: Telemedicine has many patient-centered benefits, and this study demonstrates that for certain elective subspecialty clinics, telemedicine may be utilized as the preferred method for surgical consultations. However, to ensure the equitable adoption and advancement of telemedicine services, healthcare providers will need to focus on mitigating the socioeconomic barriers to telemedicine participation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Tertiary Care Centers , Reproducibility of Results , Telemedicine/methods , Social Class
10.
Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis ; 17: 2931-2944, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2118940

ABSTRACT

Background: Telemedicine may help the detection of symptom worsening in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), potentially resulting in improved outcomes. This study aimed to determine the feasibility and acceptability of telemedicine among patients with COPD and physicians and facility staff in Japan. Methods: This was a 52-week multicenter, prospective, single-arm, feasibility and acceptability cohort study of Japanese patients ≥40 years of age with COPD or asthma-COPD overlap. Participants underwent training to use YaDoc, a telemedicine smartphone App, which included seven daily symptom questions and weekly COPD Assessment Test (CAT) questions. The primary endpoint was participant compliance for required question completion. The secondary endpoint was participant and physician/facility staff acceptability of YaDoc based on questionnaires completed at Week 52. The impact of the Japanese COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency on results was also assessed. Results: Of the 84 participants enrolled (mean age: 68.7 years, 88% male), 72 participants completed the study. Completion was high in the first six months but fell after that. Median (interquartile range [IQR]) compliance for daily questionnaire entry was 66.6% (31.0-91.8) and 81.0% (45.3-94.3) for weekly CAT entry. Positive participant responses to the exit questionnaire were highest regarding YaDoc ease of use (83.8%), positive impact on managing health (58.8%), and overall satisfaction (53.8%). Of the 26 physicians and facility staff enrolled, 24 completed the study. Of these, the majority (66.7%) responded positively regarding app facilitation of communication between physicians and participants to manage disease. Compliance was similar before and after the first COVID-19 state of emergency in Japan. Conclusion: Daily telemedicine monitoring is potentially feasible and acceptable to both patients and physicians in the management of COPD. These results may inform potential use of telemedicine in clinical practice and design of future studies. Clinical Trial Registration: JapicCTI-194916.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive , Telemedicine , Humans , Male , Female , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/diagnosis , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/therapy , Cohort Studies , Feasibility Studies , Prospective Studies , Pandemics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Telemedicine/methods
11.
Curr Oncol ; 29(11): 8565-8578, 2022 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109972

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telehealth was rapidly implemented without previous evidence. The ONCOTELEMD study aimed to evaluate the opinion of patients attended via telemedicine during this period and to study factors that condition patient preferences on its use. Included patients had a confirmed cancer diagnosis and were contacted by telephone between 13 March and 30 April 2020, in the Medical Oncology Service of Hospital Parc Taulí, Sabadell. A 12-question survey was presented to them between 4 February and 19 April 2021. Statistical analysis was carried out using chi-square and multivariable logistic regression tests. Six hundred forty-six patients were included; 487 responded to the survey. The median age was 68 years (27-90), 55.2% were female. Most patients had a surveillance visit (65.3%) and were diagnosed with colorectal or breast cancer (43% and 26.5%, respectively); 91.8% of patients were satisfied, and 60% would accept the use of telemedicine beyond the pandemic. Patients aged more than 50 years (OR 0.40; 95% CI, 0.19-0.81; p = 0.01) and diagnosed with breast cancer (OR 0.45; 95% CI, 0.26-0.69; p < 0.001) were less predisposed to adopt telehealth in the future. Patients agreed to be informed via telehealth of scan or lab results (62% and 84%, respectively) but not of new oral or endovenous treatments (52% and 33.5%, respectively). Additionally, 75% of patients had a medium or low-null technologic ability, and 51.3% would only use the telephone or video call to contact health professionals. However, differences were found according to age groups (p < 0.0001). In total, patients surveyed were satisfied with telemedicine and believed telehealth could have a role following the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, our results remark on the importance of individualizing the use of telehealth, showing relevant data on patient preferences and digital literacy.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , Female , Aged , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Telemedicine/methods , Health Personnel
12.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(11): e42839, 2022 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109581

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Following the Riyadh Declaration, digital health technologies were prioritized in many countries to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital health apps for telemedicine and video consultations help reduce potential disease spread in routine health care, including follow-up care in orthopedic and trauma surgery. In addition to the satisfaction, efficiency, and safety of telemedicine, its economic and environmental effects are highly relevant to decision makers, particularly for the goal of reaching carbon neutrality of health care systems. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to provide the first comprehensive health economic and environmental analysis of video consultations in follow-up care after knee and shoulder interventions in an orthopedic and trauma surgery department of a German university hospital. The analysis is conducted from a societal perspective. We analyze both economic and environmental impacts of video consultations, taking into account the goal of carbon neutrality for the German health care system by 2030. METHODS: We conducted a prospective randomized controlled trial comparing follow-up care with digital health app video consultations (intervention group) to conventional face-to-face consultations in the clinic (control group). Economic impact included the analysis of travel and time costs and production losses. Examination of the environmental impact comprised the emissions of greenhouse gases, carbon monoxide, volatile hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and particulates, and the calculation of environmental costs. Sensitivity analysis included calculations with a higher cost per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, which gives equal weight to the welfare of present and future generations. RESULTS: Data from 52 patients indicated that, from the patients' point of view, telemedicine helped reduce travel costs, time costs, and production losses, resulting in mean cost savings of €76.52 per video consultation. In addition, emissions of 11.248 kg of greenhouse gases, 0.070 kg of carbon monoxide, 0.011 kg of volatile hydrocarbons, 0.028 kg of nitrogen oxides, and 0.0004 kg of particulates could be saved per patient through avoided travel. This resulted in savings of environmental costs between €3.73 and €9.53 per patient. CONCLUSIONS: We presented the first comprehensive analysis of economic and environmental effects of telemedicine in the follow-up care of patients in orthopedic and trauma surgery in Germany. Video consultations were found to reduce the environmental footprint of follow-up care; saved travel costs, travel time, and time costs for patients; and helped to lower production losses. Our findings can support the decision-making on the use of digital health during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, providing decision makers with data for both economic and environmental effects. Thanks to the pragmatic design of our study, our findings can be applied to a wide range of clinical contexts and potential digital health applications that substitute outpatient hospital visits with video consultations. TRIAL REGISTRATION: German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00023445; https://tinyurl.com/4pcvhz4n.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Greenhouse Gases , Mobile Applications , Telemedicine , Humans , Aftercare , COVID-19/prevention & control , Carbon Monoxide , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , Referral and Consultation , Telemedicine/methods , Germany , Environment
13.
J Telemed Telecare ; 28(10): 733-739, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2108475

ABSTRACT

In Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the exponential growth in the delivery of telehealth services. Medicare data indicates that the majority of telehealth consultations have used the telephone, despite the known benefits of using video. The aim of this study was to understand the perceived quality and effectiveness of in-person, telephone and videoconsultations for cancer care. Data was collected via online surveys with consumers (n = 1162) and health professionals (n = 59), followed by semi-structured interviews with telehealth experienced health professionals (n = 22) and consumers (n = 18). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and significance was tested using the chi-square test. A framework analysis and thematic analysis were used for qualitative data. Results indicate telehealth is suitable for use across the cancer care pathway. However, consumers and health professionals perceived videoconsultations facilitated visual communication and improved patients' quality of care. The telephone was appropriate for short transactional consultations such as repeat prescriptions. Consumers were rarely given the choice of consultation modality. The choice of modality depended on a range of factors such as the type of consultation and stage of cancer care. Hybrid models of care utilising in-person, video and telephone should be developed and requires further guidance to promote the adoption of telehealth in cancer care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Telemedicine , Aged , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Pandemics , Referral and Consultation , Telephone , National Health Programs , Telemedicine/methods , Neoplasms/therapy
14.
Stud Health Technol Inform ; 299: 118-125, 2022 Nov 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099073

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Telemedicine can provide a solution for disease management during the COVID-19 pandemic. This literature review aims to explore the role of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic for management of cancer patients. METHOD: A comprehensive systematic search was conducted in PubMed, Science Direct, EMBASE, and Web of Science databases for the papers published until April 2021. Studies were included in case they had practically used telemedicine in the management of cancer patients during the COVID-19 crisis. RESULTS: After screening 2614 titles and abstracts and reviewing 305 full-texts, 16 studies were found to be eligible. The results indicated that most of the patients contacted by telemedicine services mostly used to intract with patients breast cancer (n=4, 25%). The most common use of telemedicine was the provision of virtual visit services (n=10, 62.25%). Besides, communication was most frequently provided by live video conferences (n=11, 68.75%). CONCLUSION: Telemedicine can provide continued access to necessary health services in oncology care and serve as an important role in pandemic planning and response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Telemedicine , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Telemedicine/methods , Neoplasms/therapy , Medical Oncology/methods
15.
Pain Physician ; 25(5): 387-390, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2092264

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a novel challenge for healthcare delivery and implementation in the United States (US) in 2020 and beyond. Telemedicine arose as a significant and effective medium for safe and efficacious physician-patient interactions. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine while available, had infrequently been utilized in pain medicine practices due to difficulties with reimbursement, the learning curve associated with new technology usage, and the need for new logistical systems in place to implement telemedicine effectively. Given the unique constraints on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ubiquitous utilization of telemedicine among pain medicine physicians increased, giving insight into potential future roles for the technology beyond the pandemic. OBJECTIVES: To survey and understand the state of implementation of telemedicine into pain medicine practices across practice settings and geographical areas; to identify potential barriers to the implementation of telemedicine in pain medicine practice; and to identify the likelihood of telemedicine continuing beyond the pandemic in pain medicine practice. STUDY DESIGN: Online questionnaire targeting Pain Medicine physicians in the US. Participants were asked questions related to the use of telemedicine during the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. SETTING: Online-based questionnaire distributed to academic and private practice pain medicine physicians nationally in the United States. METHODS: A 34 web-based questionnaires were distributed by the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine and the Society of Interventional Spine to all active members. Data were analyzed using SAS v9.4. RESULTS: Between December 3, 2020, and February 18, 2021, 164 participants accessed the survey with a response rate of 14.3%. Overall, academic physicians were more likely to implement telemedicine than private practice physicians. Telemedicine was also more frequently utilized for follow-up appointments rather than initial visits. LIMITATIONS: Although our n = 164, the overall low response rate of 14.3% warrants further investigation into the utilization of telemedicine throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine as an emerging technology for efficient communication played a key role in mitigating the adverse effects of the COVID -19 pandemic on chronic pain patients. The utilization of telemedicine remarkably increased after the start of the pandemic within 1 to 2 weeks. Overall, private hospital-based centers were significantly less likely to implement telemedicine than academic centers, possibly due to limited access to secure telemedicine platforms and high start-up costs. Telemedicine was used more frequently for follow-up visits than initial visit encounters at most centers. In spite of the unforeseen consequences to the healthcare system and chronic pain practices in the US from COVID-19, telehealth has emerged as a unique model of care for patients with chronic pain. Although it has flaws, telehealth has the ability to increase access to care beyond the end of the pandemic. Further identification of barriers to the use of telemedicine platforms in private practices should be addressed from a policy perspective to facilitate increased care access.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chronic Pain , Telemedicine , Analgesics , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/methods , United States
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2090176

ABSTRACT

Primary healthcare services have changed from face-to-face to tele-consults during the two COVID-19 years. We examined trends before and during the COVID-19 pandemic years based on groups of professionals, patient ages, and the associations with the diagnostic registry. We analyzed proportions for both periods, and ratios of the type of consults in 2017-2019 and 2020-2021 were calculated. The COVID-19 period was examined using monthly linear time trends. The results showed that consults in 2020-2021 increased by 24%. General practitioners saw significant falls in face-to-face consults compared with 2017-2019 (ratio 0.44; 95% CI: 0.44 to 0.45), but the increase was not proportional across age groups; patients aged 15-44 years had 45.8% more tele-consults, and those aged >74 years had 18.2% more. Trends in linear regression models of face-to-face consults with general practitioners and monthly diagnostic activity were positive, while the tele-consult trend was inverse to the trend of the diagnostic registry and face-to-face consults. Tele-consults did not resolve the increased demand for primary healthcare services caused by COVID-19. General practitioners, nurses and primary healthcare professionals require better-adapted tele-consult tools for an effective diagnostic registry to maintain equity of access and answer older patients' needs and priorities in primary healthcare.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Telemedicine , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation , Primary Health Care , Telemedicine/methods
17.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(11): e42431, 2022 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089647

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Until COVID-19, implementation and uptake of video consultations in health care was slow. However, the pandemic created a "burning platform" for scaling up such services. As health care organizations look to expand and maintain the use of video in the "new normal," it is important to understand infrastructural influences and changes that emerged during the pandemic and that may influence sustainability going forward. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to draw lessons from 4 National Health Service (NHS) organizations on how information infrastructures shaped, and were shaped by, the rapid scale-up of video consultations during COVID-19. METHODS: A mixed methods case study of 4 NHS trusts in England was conducted before and during the pandemic. Data comprised 90 interviews with 49 participants (eg, clinicians, managers, administrators, and IT support), ethnographic field notes, and video consultation activity data. We sought examples of infrastructural features and challenges related to the rapid scale-up of video. Analysis was guided by Gkeredakis et al's 3 perspectives on crisis and digital change: as opportunity (for accelerated innovation and removal of barriers to experimentation), disruption (to organizational practices, generating new dependencies and risks), and exposure (of vulnerabilities in both people and infrastructure). RESULTS: Before COVID-19, there was a strong policy push for video consultations as a way of delivering health care efficiently. However, the spread of video was slow, and adopting clinicians described their use as ad hoc rather than business as usual. When the pandemic hit, video was rapidly scaled up. The most rapid increase in use was during the first month of the pandemic (March-April 2020), from an average of 8 video consultations per week to 171 per week at each site. Uptake continued to increase during the pandemic, averaging approximately 800 video consultations per week by March 2021. From an opportunity perspective, participants talked about changes to institutional elements of infrastructure, which had historically restricted the introduction and use of video. This was supported by an "organizing vision" for video, bringing legitimacy and support. Perspectives on disruption centered on changes to social, technical, and material work environments and the emergence of new patterns of action. Retaining positive elements of such change required a judicious balance between managerial (top-down) and emergent (bottom-up) approaches. Perspectives on exposure foregrounded social and technical impediments to video consulting. This highlighted the need to attend to the materiality and dependability of the installed base, as well as the social and cultural context of use. CONCLUSIONS: For sustained adoption at scale, health care organizations need to enable incremental systemic change and flexibility through agile governance and knowledge transfer pathways, support process multiplicity within virtual clinic workflows, attend to the materiality and dependability of the IT infrastructure within and beyond organizational boundaries, and maintain an overall narrative within which the continued use of video can be framed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , State Medicine , Pandemics , Videoconferencing , Telemedicine/methods
18.
Reprod Health ; 19(1): 99, 2022 Apr 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089211

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Providers faced challenges in maintaining patient access to contraceptive services and public health safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to increased barriers to care, providers increasingly used telemedicine for contraceptive care, curbside services, mail-order pharmacies, and on-line or home delivery of contraceptive methods, including self-administration of subcutaneous depo medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SQ). To better understand how reproductive health providers adapted service provision during the pandemic, this study assessed clinical practice changes and strategies providers adopted throughout the United States to maintain contraceptive care, particularly when clinics closed on-site, and the challenges that remained in offering contraceptive services, especially to marginalized patient populations. METHODS: We surveyed U.S. providers and clinic staff (n = 907) in April 2020-January 2021, collecting data on contraceptive service delivery challenges and adaptations, including telemedicine. We assessed clinical practice changes with multivariate regression analyses using generalized linear models with a Poisson distribution and cluster robust standard errors, adjusting for clinic patient volume, practice setting, region, Title X funding, and time of survey. RESULTS: While 80% of providers reported their clinic remained open, 20% were closed on-site. Providers said the pandemic made it more difficult to offer the full range of contraceptive methods (65%), contraceptive counseling (61%) or to meet the needs of patients in marginalized communities (50%). While only 11% of providers offered telemedicine pre-pandemic, most offered telemedicine visits (79%) during the pandemic. Some used mail-order pharmacies (35%), curbside contraceptive services (22%), and DMPA-SQ for self-administration (10%). Clinics that closed on-site were more likely to use mail-order pharmacies (aRR 1.83, 95% CI [1.37-2.44]) and prescribe self-administered DMPA-SQ (aRR 3.85, 95% CI [2.40-6.18]). Clinics closed on-site were just as likely to use telemedicine as those that remained open. Among clinics using telemedicine, those closed on-site continued facing challenges in contraceptive service provision. CONCLUSIONS: Clinics closing on-site were just as likely to offer telemedicine, but faced greater challenges in offering contraceptive counseling and the full range of contraceptive methods, and meeting the needs of marginalized communities. Maintaining in-person care for contraceptive services, in spite of staffing shortages and financial difficulties, is an important objective during and beyond the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Contraception , Contraceptive Agents , Family Planning Services , Humans , Pandemics , Reproductive Health , Telemedicine/methods , United States
19.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 17875, 2022 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087298

ABSTRACT

To address the current pandemic, multiple studies have focused on the development of new mHealth apps to help in curbing the number of infections, these applications aim to accelerate the identification and self-isolation of people exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus known to cause COVID-19, by being in close contact with infected individuals. The main objectives of this paper are: (1) Analyze the current status of COVID-19 apps available on the main virtual stores: Google Play Store and App Store for Spain, and (2) Propose a novel mobile application that allows interaction and doctor-patient follow-up without the need for real-time consultations (face-to-face or telephone). In this research, a search for eHealth and telemedicine apps related to Covid-19 was performed in the main online stores: Google Play Store and App Store, until May 2021. Keywords were entered into the search engines of the online stores and relevant apps were selected for study using a PRISMA methodology. For the design and implementation of the proposed app named COVINFO, the main weaknesses of the apps studied were taken into account in order to propose a novel and useful app for healthcare systems. The search yielded a total of 50 apps, of which 24 were relevant to this study, of which 23 are free and 54% are available for Android and iOS operating systems (OS). The proposed app has been developed for mobile devices with Android OS being compatible with Android 4.4 and higher. This app enables doctor-patient interaction and constant monitoring of the patient's progress without the need for calls, chats or face-to-face consultation in real time. This work addresses design and development of an application for the transmission of the user's symptoms to his regular doctor, based on the fact that only 16.6% of existing applications have this functionality. The COVINFO app offers a novel service: asynchronous doctor-patient communication, as well as constant monitoring of the patient's condition and evolution. This app makes it possible to better manage the time of healthcare personnel and avoid overcrowding in hospitals, with the aim of preventing the collapse of healthcare systems and the spread of the coronavirus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Telemedicine , Humans , Spain/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics/prevention & control , Telemedicine/methods
20.
Diabetes Res Clin Pract ; 193: 110135, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2086111

ABSTRACT

AIMS: To explore the impact of primarily telemedical care for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes by monthly video consultations on metabolic control and parents' treatment satisfaction and disease-specific burden during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: In this 12-month multicenter observational follow-up VIDIKI 2.0 study, 100 participants (3-18 years) received monthly video consultations, which partially replaced quarterly outpatient clinic appointments during the pandemic. The children's metabolic parameters as well as the parents' treatment satisfaction and diabetes specific burden were assessed at study entry and 12 months later. RESULTS: During the study, 912 video consultations took place (mean 0.84 ±â€¯0.23 / patient/month). The children's HbA1c remained stable, while mean sensor glucose level and glucose management indicator decreased. Simultaneously, parents' treatment satisfaction significantly increased, and their diabetes-specific burden and distress decreased. CONCLUSIONS: Primarily telemedical care of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic via monthly video consultations resulted in a significant improvement in parents' treatment satisfaction and their diabetes-specific burden and distress. It was associated with a slight improvement in mean sensor glucose and glucose management indicator, while HbA1c remained stable. Thus, video consultations offer great potential to enhance standard care for children and adolescents with diabetes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 , Telemedicine , Child , Adolescent , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/therapy , Glycated Hemoglobin A/analysis , Telemedicine/methods , Glucose
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