Welcome to Evidence Based Telemedicine – in a Hospital Setting
This website introduces a database in which scientific articles on telemedicine and digital health solutions are assessed and catalogued.
The purpose of this website is to provide an overview of relevant telemedicine solutions and their effects. The database on the site can be searched using the criteria medical speciality, country, technology, clinical effect, patient experience and economic effect. The website serves as a platform for sharing knowledge and inspiration to hospitals and others interested in evidence based telemedicine.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an increased use of digital solutions in the healthcare system to minimise the physical contact between patients and healthcare providers. The health care sector are encouraged to maintain this tendency – not only during the pandemic, but also in the future to address other public health challenges.
In addition, the 2019 budget agreement between the Danish government and the Danish Regions introduces a new financing scheme that emphasises increased use of digital health technologies including telemedicine. This means that hospital departments must increase the proportion of virtual programmes and implement digital solutions in order to receive important funding.
In this project, digital health technologies are defined as telemedicine, mhealth and home monitoring, where patients participate in digital communication in connection with healthcare, and where there is a synchronous or asynchronous contact between somatic patients and clinicians over a distance.
Methods and Results
Data is derived from a systematic literature search on randomised studies or studies with control groups on the effect of telemedicine for hospital patients, conducted in September 2019 by consultants from Centre for Innovative Medical Technology (CIMT) at Odense University Hospital and the University of Southern Denmark.
The literature search resulted in 2825 hits. 570 articles were included for full text assessment and a total of 331 articles were included for data extraction and assessment. Tables with the results from 22 different specialities provide an overview of the technologies, patient groups and effects of the solutions.
The proportion of studies showing positive statistically significant clinical effect was 48% (164 articles), while 47% showed no statistically significant difference. Only six articles (2%) showed a significant negative effect. In 164 studies (48%), patient experiences were examined and described in the article. Economic effects are evaluated based on the usage of healthcare services which was described in 179 (53%) articles. Of these, 93 studies found a statistically significant reduction in the use of one or more healthcare services.