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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-8

Effectiveness and barriers of telehealth services during COVID-19 pandemic: A narrative review

College of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Nipin Kalal
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/injms.injms_62_21

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The coronavirus outbreak has introduced many challenges for the health-care delivery system, its workers, and health-care recipients. To overcome the challenges coming up during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, health-care sector was majorly helped by telehealth, e-health, and technologies involved in consultation, diagnosis, and treatment of patients from a distance. However, it has own benefits and barriers, which are discussed in this review. This review has been conducted through searching five databases including PubMed, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, Cochrane, and ScienceDirect. Inclusion criteria included studies clearly defining any use of telehealth services during COVID-19 pandemic and its effects and barriers, written in English language, published from 2019 to till date, and including studies from different countries. Narrative synthesis was undertaken to summarize and report the findings. Ten studies met the inclusion criteria out of the 97 search results. The articles included in our studies showed a significant increase in the uptake of telehealth services during this COVID-19 pandemic. Countries like the U.S.A showed an 80% decline in-person visits among the Canadian population 41% of them wanted virtual visits compared to in-person visits. The patients have reported high satisfaction with telehealth services according to the related studies although have reported hindrances and potential barriers to it like limited access to Internet availability, devices, lack of awareness about technology, high cost for implementation, and legal framework related to policies that includes privacy and confidentiality. Based on the findings of this review study, telehealth has been found as an effective way of health delivery system in these difficult times, but there are certain factors and issues related to its use which need to be looked upon. This narrative review indicates that the use of telemedicine and telehealth services during this COVID-19 pandemic has a plan of much help, as when compared to the barriers, it may produce to reach a large population at their home without putting the lives of health-care workers and the patients themselves at risk.

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