Video doctor visits limit spread of disease, help determine health risks to patients.
While people with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who are in acute distress may need immediate in-person attention, many people can be evaluated at home through video doctor visits, thereby maintaining social distancing and reducing the spread of the disease. Limited guidance exists, however, for the remote delivery of healthcare, though the need has risen significantly during the pandemic. Now medical experts affiliated with NYU Long Island School of Medicine and NYU Langone Health have collaborated to develop a template for remote COVID-19 healthcare delivery, including protocols for assessing and triaging patients who may test positive for COVID-19.
The spectrum of symptoms in people infected with COVID-19 range from asymptomatic to severe and life-threatening; the more benign manifestations are often able to be managed from home. A new report, titled “A Telemedicine Approach to Covid-19 Assessment and Triage,” published on September 9, 2020, in Medicina, a peer-reviewed scientific and medical journal, outlines protocols for assessing various patient symptoms through virtual means.
The paper notes that these protocols are most easily applicable in settings that have adequate internet or phone connections, and that, when the technology is available, telemedicine is also promising for delivery of care to persons living in remote areas where distance is a barrier to seeking help.