Utility of telemedicine in the COVID-19 era
Colbert GB, Venegas-Vera AV, Lerma EV. Utility of telemedicine in the COVID-19 era. Rev Cardiovasc Med. 2020;21(4):583-587. doi: 10.31083/j.rcm.2020.04.188.
Previously it has been demonstrated that telehealth (TH) could help cover the gaps in health attention in remote locations. Today the expanded capabilities have transformed TH delivery, and from the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, it has remained one of our biggest allies. Telehealth has become a central piece in patient healthcare delivery during COVID-19 pandemic era. Telehealth allows health care services to reach patients in their homes, keeping other patients safe through social distancing and maintaining self-quarantine. Within this administration of health, TH allows health care providers to focus more resources to pandemic usage and at the same time continue caring for the health of non COVID-19 patients. During this time, clinicians are expanding knowledge about TH capabilities, such as application of forward triage as a tool to avoid patient contact in emergency departments. While previously TH was mainly used for primary care needs, specialized and urgent care health is now being utilized more than ever before. These advantages comes with limitations, some of them include a limited physical exam, lack of access to diagnostic testing or imaging, and many other pitfalls and persistent unmet needs. The 2020 pandemic has led to significant improvements leading into the next generation of telemedicine.