Telemedicine interventions in primary care
Citation: Bashshur R, Howell J, Krupinski E, et al. The empirical foundations of telemedicine interventions in primary care. Telemedicine Journal and E-Health 2016; 22(5): 342-75
What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on healthcare systems. Existing research on the use of telemedicine in primary care may provide information to ease this and to support a safer environment for primary care providers and their patients.
In this systematic review, the authors searched for research evaluating the feasibility, acceptability and impact of telemedicine interventions in primary care. They restricted their search to articles published between 2005 and 2015. They included 86 studies, which covered feasibility and acceptance (35 studies), intermediate outcomes (36), health outcomes (7) and cost (8).
What was found: Telemedicine can be a viable and integral component of primary care around the world.
Telemedicine has been shown to be acceptable and feasible in primary care.
Telemedicine may be more acceptable to patients than to healthcare providers.
Outcomes data are limited but suggest that telemedicine interventions are generally as effective and cost-effective as traditional care.
Challenges remain in identifying the impact of telemedicine on clinical outcomes and the standardization of methods in relation to cost.
What’s uncertain: The impact of telemedicine for specific demographic groups, (such as based on age, gender and socioeconomic status) is uncertain.
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