Telemedicine and emerging technologies for health care in allergy/immunology.
Telemedicine (TM) has become a popular method of accessing medical services between providers and patients and is viewed as a cost-effective alternative to more traditional episodic face-to-face encounters. TM overcomes 2 barriers that patients face when seeking health care: distance and time. It is as effective as in-person visits for outpatient treatment of asthma, and it is a convenient way to provide inpatient consultations for patients when the allergist practices outside of the hospital. TM also has been used to manage patients with asthma in schools. Patients tend to be as satisfied with TM or they prefer TM over in-person visits, but infrequently they do prefer in-person visits. In addition to virtual visits using TM, there are several emerging technologies that are relevant to the practice of allergy/immunology including electronic diaries (eg, symptoms and medication use), wearable technology (eg, to monitor activity and vital signs), remote patient monitoring (eg, environmental exposures and medication adherence) as well as electronic medical records augmented with clinical decision support. We believe that the use of TM, particularly when combined with information technologies such as electronic health records, has the potential to cause a transformational change in the way care is delivered by altering the process of interaction between patient and provider. TM addresses the shortage of allergy specialists in rural and underserved urban communities and facilitates patient access to allergy services. As patients take more control of their health care, use of TM is likely to increase because a large part of the move to adopt TM is driven by patient preference.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
Allergy and Immunology; Humans; Telemedicine
Telemedicine; e-consults; facilitated visit; remote patient monitoring; store & forward; virtual visit.
Portnoy JM, Pandya A, Waller M, Elliott T. Telemedicine and emerging technologies for health care in allergy/immunology. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020;145(2):445-454. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2019.12.903