A researcher from the University of Southern California (USC) Medical Center in Los Angeles says telemedicine had a positive impact on inner city children with asthma at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Kenny Kwong, MD, making the switch to telemedicine for routine asthma visits early on in the pandemic resulted in positive disease control and an increase in appointment "show rates" among Los Angeles inner city children. Prior to taking advantage of telemedicine, in-person appointment show rates between March and June 2019 averaged 70%-80%. After the switch to telemedicine, this increased to 90%-95% between March and June 2020.
Furthermore, delivering routine asthma care via telemedicine did not appear to negatively impact asthma control among the children in the study, Wong said in a presentation at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology virtual meeting.
There was also a notable increase in the amount of time healthcare providers spent with patients after switching to telemedicine, with appointments conducted over the telephone lasting as much as 62% longer than pre-pandemic in-person visits.
“This system has worked very well. We have been able to treat many asthmatic children until the debacle of COVID-19. All our face-to-face visits on the mobile asthma units came to a grinding halt, and we had to switch almost overnight to telephone visits,” Wong said.