Follow-up data for patients managed by store and forward telemedicine in developing countries

Wootton, Richard, Menzies, John and Ferguson, Paula (2009) Follow-up data for patients managed by store and forward telemedicine in developing countries. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 15 2: 83-88. doi:10.1258/jtt.2008.080710


Author Wootton, Richard
Menzies, John
Ferguson, Paula
Title Follow-up data for patients managed by store and forward telemedicine in developing countries
Journal name Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1357-633X
1758-1109
Publication date 2009-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1258/jtt.2008.080710
Volume 15
Issue 2
Start page 83
End page 88
Total pages 6
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage
Language eng
Abstract There is very little published information about the outcomes of patients treated by telemedicine in developing countries. Over a two-year period, seven medical students from five universities spent their electives at a hospital in Papua New Guinea. They assisted with the review of a total of 44 e-referrals made by local doctors; the referrals resulted in 61 queries in a wide range of specialties. The major categories of these queries were internal medicine, paediatrics and surgery. Follow-up data were obtained in 22 of the 44 cases (50%) after a median period of 13 weeks (interquartile range 3-19). The cases were reviewed by an independent doctor. Telemedicine was considered to have assisted with the diagnosis in all cases (median score 5 on a five-point scale from 1 = not helpful at all to 5 = very good/excellent). The advice to the referring doctor for further action was considered helpful in all except one case (median score 5 on the same scale). The outcome for the patient was considered to be good in 15 of the cases (median score 4 on the same scale). Medical students were able to facilitate e-referrals by relieving the pressure on the local doctor to undertake the necessary clerical and technical work. The students reported a rewarding elective experience. The follow-up data showed that low-cost telemedicine can provide useful advice in a low resource setting.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Centre for Online Health Publications
 
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