Use of Telemedicine and Virtual Care for Remote Treatment in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

J Med Syst. 2020 Jun 15;44(7):132. doi: 10.1007/s10916-020-01596-5.

Abstract

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused significant strain on medical centers resources. Thus, concerns about the reducing and management of COVID-19 are on the rise, as there is need to provide diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and follow-ups during the pandemic. Therefore, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically and quickly altered how medical practitioners provide care to patients. Medical centers are now responding to COVID-19 through rapid adoption of digital tools and technologies such as telemedicine and virtual care which refer to the delivery of healthcare services digital or at a distance using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for treatment of patients. Telemedicine is expected to deliver timely care while minimizing exposure to protect medical practitioners and patients. Accordingly, a rapid literature review was conducted, and 35 research studies published from 2019 to May 2020 were employed to provide theoretical and practical evidence on the significance of using telemedicine and virtual care for remote treatment of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article provides practical guide based on how to use telemedicine and virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study provides implication on the potentials of consolidating virtual care solutions in the near future towards contributing to integrate digital technologies into healthcare.

Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019; Medical systems; Pandemic; Remote treatment; Telemedicine; Virtual care.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical
  • Humans
  • Information Technology / statistics & numerical data
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration*

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2