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VOLUME 11 , ISSUE 2 ( May-August, 2024 ) > List of Articles


Telemedicine in Times of COVID-19 Pandemic: A Prospective Outcome Study

Ranit Bag, Malabika Mondal, Soumik Mukherjee

Keywords : COVID-19, Pandemic, Telemedicine, World Health Organization

Citation Information : Bag R, Mondal M, Mukherjee S. Telemedicine in Times of COVID-19 Pandemic: A Prospective Outcome Study. Bengal Physician Journal 2024; 11 (2):51-54.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10070-8046

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 06-07-2024

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2024; The Author(s).


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic was a global threat that affected the economy as well as the health system of our country. Most of the rural areas and outside the urban areas were beyond the proper availability and accessibility of all health services. In this situation, technologies such as telemedicine service played an important role. These telehealth services tried to recover the health system at minimum cost-effectiveness and covered a major part of the population. Telemedicine physicians could reduce the burden on secondary hospitals and advise on the emergency conditions of the patients. The guidelines should be revised to address the weaknesses and establish an ongoing system of evaluation to permit future improvements in the health system. Telemedicine technologies will continue to grow and be adopted by more healthcare practitioners and patients in a wide variety of forms, and these practice guidelines will be a key factor for handling emergency health conditions in the future. Materials and methods: It was a record-based, cross-sectional study done in the Telemedicine Center at IPGMER, Kolkata, from 1st January to 31st January, 2022. Patients were interrogated by simple questionnaires over the telephone. Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for COVID-19 antibody-positive or suspected COVID-19-positive patients was included in the study. Patients related to vaccines or enquiring other health-related problems were excluded. Result: In 92 patients, the mean age was 48.75 ± 4 and there were about equal no. of male and female patients. Among comorbidities, a number of hypertensive, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes mellitus were more. The duration of symptoms is more in these comorbid patients. Among antibiotics, azithromycin was the most prescribed. The percentage of encounters with antibiotics was much higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) standard. The percentage of drugs from the essential drug list was about the same as the WHO standard. The average consultation time was lower than 7 minutes of the WHO standard. Discussion: This study showed that comorbidities like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, COPD, etc., affected the duration and severity of COVID-19 symptoms. There were overuses of antibiotics as well as other drugs more than WHO indicators but consultation time was less than WHO indicators. More patients were satisfied with this service than in previous studies.

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