COVID-19 pandemic and the great impulse to telemedicine: The basis of the WONCA Europe Statement on Telemedicine at the WHO Europe 70th Regional Meeting September 2020

Ferdinando Petrazzuoli*, Donata Kurpas, Shlomo Vinker, Valentina Sarkisova, Androulla Eleftheriou, Anna Żakowicz, Diederik Aarendonk, Mehmet Ungan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technologies to support the delivery of healthcare at a distance, guaranteeing patients healthcare by facilitating access where barriers exist; the COVID-19 pandemic has attracted worldwide interest in this field. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the main pros and cons of telemedicine, which serve as the basis of the WONCA Europe Statement at the WHO Europe 70th Regional Meeting on 14 September 2020. Pros of telemedicine include virtual healthcare at home, where patients receive support in certain conditions without leaving their houses. During a pandemic, it can be adopted to limit physical human interaction. Unfortunately, it can negatively affect the quality of the doctor-patient relationship, the quality of the physical examination, and the quality of care. Telemedicine requires effective infrastructure and robust investments to be feasible and effective.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere65
JournalPrimary Health Care Research and Development
Volume22
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Dec 2021

Funding

FundersFunder number
Department of Family Medicine
European Forum for Primary Care
European Forum of National Nursing and Midwifery Associations
Thalassaemia International Federation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
World Health Organization
Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University

    Keywords

    • access to care
    • rural health
    • telemedicine

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