Telemedicine in cardiovascular surgery during COVID‐19 pandemic: A systematic review and our experience
Ajibade, Ayomikun et al.
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Objective: The SAR‐COV‐2 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on the UK's healthcare systems. To reduce spread of the virus, elective treatments and surgeries have been postponed or canceled. There has been a rise in the use of telemedicine (TM) as an alternative way to carry outpatient consultations. This systematic review aims to evaluate the extent to which TM may be able to support cardiac and vascular surgery patients in the COVID‐19 era. Methods: We looked into how TM can support the management of patients via triaging, preoperative, and postoperative care. Evaluations targeted the clinical effectiveness of common TM methods and the feasibility of applying those methods in the UK during this pandemic. Results: Several studies have published their evidence on the benefit of TM and its benefit during COVID‐19, the data related to cardiovascular surgery and how this will impact future practice of this speciality is emerging and yet larger studies with appropriate timing of outcomes to be published. Conclusion: Overall, the use of virtual consultations and remote monitoring is feasible and best placed to support these patients via triaging and postoperative monitoring. However, TM can be limited by the need of sophisticated technological requirement and patients’ educational and know‐how computer literacy level.