Review article: Telecare in gastroenterology-Within the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Review article: Telecare in gastroenterology-Within the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Publication date: Apr 01, 2024

Telehealth is a growing model of care, greatly accelerated with the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Telecare is a synchronous audio-visual or audio-only format of health delivery. To evaluate the existing literature on telecare within adult gastroenterology subspecialties to determine if outcomes are comparable to traditional in-person consultations and to highlight the PokapÅ« Network, a local initiative in the Lakes Region of New Zealand, amongst these international findings. We completed an OVID MEDLINE search using the terms gastroenterology, endoscopy, digestive system, inflammatory bowel disease, functional, hepatology, liver, telemedicine, telehealth, videoconferencing, remote consultation, video clinic and telephone clinic. Patients showed positive attitudes towards telecare and, in several reports, would elect to have telecare consults in the future. Telecare reduces travel time and out-of-pocket costs for patients and the need for patients to take time off work. Generally, patients engaging with telecare show equivalent health outcomes to patients engaging with traditional models of care. Patients from ethnic minority groups or lower socio-economic backgrounds, or who are older, are less likely to complete a ‘successful’ telecare consult. Telecare is a useful model of care to allow gastroenterology centres to function within the context of COVID-19 isolation and beyond. It has significant benefits for patients who face geographical and financial barriers to accessing healthcare. Telecare models such as the PokapÅ« Network hold promise in reducing inequities for gastroenterology patients. Such models must be introduced with consideration of digital disparities that exist amongst patients to avoid worsening the digital divide.

Concepts Keywords
Future Audio
Gastroenterology Care
Healthcare Clinic
Lakes Covid
Videoconferencing Engaging


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease MESH inflammatory bowel disease
pathway KEGG Inflammatory bowel disease
disease VO time

Original Article

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