Telemedicine and telemonitoring for a variety of conditions (multiple reviews)
What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a great strain on healthcare services, leading to increased use of telemedicine, including telemonitoring. Several reviews are summarised here, with more details on each review, including citations and links to their full text, available lower down this page.
What was found: Three reviews evaluated the use of telemedicine for COVID-19 or other infectious diseases. The Gao (search done on 31 March 2020) reported that telemedicine offered the public an efficient, safe way to consult healthcare professionals on issues related to COVID-19 and SARS. The Golinelli review (search done in May 2020) found that digital technologies can help with the diagnosis of COVID-19, prevention and surveillance measures (e.g. contact tracing), and monitoring of internet searches or social media.
The Andrews review (search done in July 2020) found that patient and healthcare providers satisfaction with use of telehealth during COVID-19 was consistently high, and that both patient and healthcare workers were willing to continue use of telehealth after the pandemic.
The Agarwal (search done in December 2013) and Braun (search done in June 2012) reviews found positive outcomes from telemedicine in low-resource settings, including for general health services such as maternal, child and sexual health services by community health workers, and that use of mHealth by frontline healthcare workers improved data collection, accuracy and completeness.
Three reviews assessed telemedicine for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The Hong review (search done in April 2017) found benefits for reduced emergency room visits and hospitalisations, and improved patients’ mental health quality of life score. The Kruse review (search done in February 2017) found mixed results for in-person visits, disease management and patient-provider relationships; and identified barriers including low-quality data, increased workload for providers and cost. The Cox review (searches done in January and November 2020) suggests that tele-rehabilitation for persons with COPD achieves outcomes similar to those of traditional in-person pulmonary rehabilitation for exercise capacity, quality of life, breathlessness, or adverse effects; and greater completion rates.
The Pradhan review (search done in 2018) found that technology and Web-based interventions were effective in the primary prevention of substance abuse. While, other reviews noted successful implementation of telemedicine in several medical specialities, including urology, otolaryngology, oncology, ophthalmology and geriatrics.
What are the reviews:
Citation: Agarwal S, Perry HB, Long LA, et al. Evidence on feasibility and effective use of mHealth strategies by frontline health workers in developing countries: systematic review. Tropical Medicine & International Health. 2015;20(8):1003-14.
In this systematic review, the authors searched for research from developing countries on the feasibility of the use of mobile phones by frontline health workers, training required for adoption of mobile tools, and effects of mobile-based services. They restricted their searches to articles published in English since 2000 and did the search in December 2013. They included 42 studies.
Citation: Andrews E, Berghofer K, Long J, et al. Satisfaction with the use of telehealth during COVID-19: An integrative review. International journal of nursing studies advances. 2020;2:100008.
In this rapid review, the authors searched for studies evaluating patient and provider satisfaction with the use of telehealth or telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. They restricted their searches to studies published up to July 2020. They included 18 studies, which were from China (1 study), France (1), Hong Kong (1), India (1), Italy (1), Slovenia (1), UK (2) and USA (10).
Citation: Braun R, Catalani C, Wimbush J, et al. Community health workers and mobile technology: a systematic review of the literature. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(6):e65772.
In this systematic review, the authors searched for articles about the use of mobile technology by community health workers to deliver health services. They restricted their searches to articles published in English since 1999 and did the search in June 2012. They included 25 articles (28 studies), which were mostly from Africa and Asia.
Citation: Cox NS, Dal Corso S, Hansen H, et al. Telerehabilitation for chronic respiratory disease. 2021;(1):CD013040.
In this Cochrane review, the authors searched for randomized and controlled trials of tele-rehabilitation for the delivery of pulmonary rehabilitation. They did not restrict their searches by language or type of publication and did the most recent searches in November 2020. They included 15 studies, and 99% of the participants (99%) had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Citation: Gao Y, Liu R, Zhou Q, et al. Application of Telemedicine During the Coronavirus Disease Epidemics: A Rapid Review and Meta-Analysis. Annals of Translational Medicine. 2020;8(10):626
In this rapid review, the authors searched for studies of telephone and internet-based consultations by patients related to COVID-19, SARS or MERS. They did not restrict their searches by date, type or language of publication and did the search on 31 March 2020. They included 9 cross-sectional studies, which were related to COVID-19 (1 study) and SARS (8), from China (8) and Taiwan (1), and included 7 studies in meta-analyses.
Citation: Golinelli D, Boetto E, Carullo G, et al. Adoption of Digital Technologies in Health Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Systematic Review of Early Scientific Literature. Journal of medical Internet research. 2020;22(11):e22280.
In this rapid review, the authors searched for research describing digital solutions to respond to and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals and healthcare systems. They restricted their searches to studies published in English and did the search in May 2020. They included 124 articles, addressing diagnosis (65), surveillance (46), prevention (38), treatment (15), adherence (12), lifestyle (11), and other purposes (6).
Citation: Hong Y, Lee SH. Effectiveness of tele-monitoring by patient severity and intervention type in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2019;92:1-5.
Free to view: No
In this systematic review, the authors searched for randomized trials of telemonitoring of patients with COPD. They did not restrict their searches by language of publication and did the search up to April 2017. They included 27 studies, which were of telemonitoring only (15 studies), integrated tele-monitoring (pure control) (4) and integrated tele-monitoring (not pure control) (8).
Citation: Kichloo A, Albosta M, Dettloff K, et al. Telemedicine, the current COVID-19 pandemic and the future: a narrative review and perspectives moving forward in the USA. Family Medicine Community Health. 2020; 8(3):e000530
In this narrative review, the authors searched for articles related to telemedicine. They restricted their searches to articles published in English between 1990 and 2020. They included 42 studies.
Citation: Kruse C, Pesek B, Anderson M, et al. Telemonitoring to manage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: systematic literature review. JMIR Medical Informatics. 2019;7(1):e11496.
In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies of telemonitoring for managing patients with COPD. They restricted their searches to articles published in English from February 2011 to February 2017. They identified 29 eligible studies.
Citation: Lu DJ, Girgis M, David JM, et al. Evaluation of mobile health applications to track patient-reported outcomes for oncology patients: A systematic review. Advances in Radiation Oncology. 2021;6(1):100576.
In this systematic review, the authors searched for mobile applications (apps) available in English that provided a function to track cancer-related symptoms and patient-related outcomes. They did the search in May 2020. They included 41 apps (30 were general health/pain symptom trackers, 11 were cancer-specific).
Citation: Murphy R, Dennehy K, Costello M, et al. Virtual geriatric clinics and the COVID-19 catalyst: a rapid review. 2020;49(6):907-14.
In this rapid review, the authors searched for studies of the clinic productivity, clinical benefit and costs associated with the virtual geriatric clinic model of care. They did not restrict their searches by date, type or language of publication and did the search up to 8 April 2020. They included 9 observational studies (975 patients).
Citation: Ning AY, Cabrera CI, D’Anza B. Telemedicine in otolaryngology: a systematic review of image quality, diagnostic concordance, and patient and provider satisfaction. Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology. 2021:130(2):195-204.
In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies of telemedicine in otolaryngology. They restricted their searches to articles published in English up to May 2019. They included 32 studies analysing image adequacy (7 studies), diagnostic concordance (15), and patient and provider satisfaction (11 and 6, respectively).
Citation: Novara G, Checcucci E, Crestani A, et al. Telehealth in Urology: A Systematic Review of the Literature. How much can telemedicine be useful during and after the COVID-19 pandemic? European Urology. 2020;78(6):786-811.
In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies of telehealth interventions in urology. They did not restrict their searches by date, type or language of publication and did the search on 8 April 2020. They included 45 studies, including 12 randomized trials.
Citation: Odendaal WA, Anstey Watkins J, Leon N, et al. Health workers’ perceptions and experiences of using mHealth technologies to deliver primary healthcare services: a qualitative evidence synthesis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2020;(3):CD011942. Podcasts are available in English, Spanish, and Croatian.
In this Cochrane review, the authors searched for qualitative research related to mHealth programs in a primary healthcare setting. They did not restrict their searches by date or language of publication and did the search in January 2018. They included 53 studies and purposively sampled 43 for qualitative analysis. They identified a further 85 studies in February 2020, which are awaiting classification.
Citation: Pradhan AM, Park L, Shaya FT, et al. Consumer Health Information Technology in the Prevention of Substance Abuse: Scoping Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2019;21(1):e11297
In this scoping review, the authors searched for studies and reviews of the use of consumer health information technologies for primary prevention of substance abuse. They restricted their searches to articles published in English up to 2018 and excluded studies that focused exclusively on alcohol prevention. They included 42 papers.
Citation: Ream E, Hughes AE, Cox A, et al. Telephone interventions for symptom management in adults with cancer. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2020;(6):CD007568
In this Cochrane review, the authors searched for randomized and quasi-randomized trials of telephone interventions for adults with a clinical diagnosis of cancer. They did not restrict their searches by language of publication and did the search in January 2019. They included 32 studies.
Citation: Sommer AC, Blumenthal EZ. Telemedicine in ophthalmology in view of the emerging COVID-19 outbreak. Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. 2020;258:2341-52.
In this rapid review, the authors searched for studies on telemedicine, telehealth and ophthalmology. They restricted their searches to articles published in English and did the search from January 2017 up to March 2020. They included 90 records in the final qualitative analysis.
Citation: Wirth FN, Johns M, Meurers T, et al. Citizen-centered mobile health apps collecting individual-level spatial data for infectious disease management: Scoping review. JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth. 2020;8(11):e22594.
In this scoping review, the authors searched for papers presenting citizen-centered surveillance solutions for collecting individual-level spatial data. They restricted their searches to articles published in English and did the search in June 2020. They included 27 articles.
Other reviews of this topic
Citation: Baines R, Tredinnick-Rowe J, Jones R, et al. Barriers and Enablers in Implementing Electronic Consultations in Primary Care: Scoping Review. Journal of medical Internet research. 2020;22(11):e19375.
Citation: Chaudhry H, Nadeem S, Mundi R. How Satisfied Are Patients and Surgeons with Telemedicine in Orthopaedic Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 2021;479(1):47-56.
Citation: Dijkstra H, Ergen E, Holtzhausen L, et al. Remote assessment in sport and exercise medicine (SEM): a narrative review and teleseme solutions for and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2020;54:1162-7.
Citation: Elsner P. Teledermatology in the times of COVID-19 – a systematic review. Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft. 2020;18(8):841-5.
Citation: Grimes C, Balk E, Crisp C, et al. A guide for urogynecologic patient care utilizing telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic: review of existing evidence. International Urogynecology Journal. 2020;31:1063-89.
Citation: Hames J, Bell D, Perez-Lima L, et al. Navigating uncharted waters: Considerations for training clinics in the rapid transition to telepsychology and telesupervision during COVID-19. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration. 2020;30(2):348-65.
Citation: Sansom-Daly UM, Wakefield CE, McGill BC, et al. Consensus among international ethical guidelines for the provision of videoconferencing-based mental health treatments. JMIR mental health. 2016;3(2):e17.
Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone. The text can be shared and re-used without charge, citing Evidence Aid as the source and noting the date on which you took the text.
If you have found this summary helpful, please consider making a donation. If everyone who looked at our COVID-19 resources gave us just £2 per month, it would fund Evidence Aid’s life-saving work.