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Analysts confirm it: there will be a before and after COVID-19 crisis in the development and use of telemedicine.

Telemedicine is a term describing various remote medical practices based on information and communication technologies. Telemedicine includes tele-consultation (the physician performs a consultation remotely, often by videoconference), tele-expertise (remote exchange between two health professionals, one of whom requires a rapid access to the opinion of a specialist), telemonitoring (monitoring of certain variables of a patient remotely).

The surge of telemedicine with COVID-19 crisis

To slow down the spread of the virus, to reduce the risk of contamination in waiting rooms, to identify or follow up patients with a non-severe form of the disease and to continue treatment of patients with chronic diseases, healthcare professionals have made extensive use of teleconsultations in the recent days.  In France, for example, the number of teleconsultations registered by the National Health Insurance system has increased exponentially (+15% between February and March).

Assisted teleconsultation

However, teleconsultation between the patient and the physician has its own limits as the patient usually does not have the tools and does not know how to perform simple clinical examinations. Some patients might be equipped with blood pressure monitors but their quality or their use by the patient is not always optimal. Moreover, the population with the most important medical needs – the elderly – are not necessarily familiar with new technologies, nor are they able to perform the necessary examinations for a consultation on themselves.

Hence the need for teleconsultation assisted by a healthcare professional (also called accompanied teleconsultation): this is a consultation between a physician and their patient in the presence of third person: a healthcare professional. This may be a homecare nurse, a care giver in an elderly house, etc.  The healthcare professional in contact with the patient acts as a link to the physician and can perform simple diagnostic tests, such as blood pressure or ECG measurements. This is called tele-diagnosis or telecare.

Assisted-teleconsultation

MESI mTABLET: a professional quality tele-diagnostic tool

MESI mTABLET system is ideal for telecare. Equipped with different wireless diagnostic modules, MESI mTABLET system can be taken anywhere by the healthcare professional. MESI mTABLET system was developed in cooperation with nurses and doctors to meet their specific needs. The result is a simple and optimized interface for everyday use in teleconsultation and tele-diagnostic.

The healthcare professional in contact with the patient can thus perform tests such as resting ECG, blood pressure, saturation, ankle-brachial index measurement for PAD or wound-care assessment. The physician, based in a remote location, has access to quality measurements which he can base his diagnosis on and determine the best medical care.