Virtual Care: The New Now Normal
The demand for and provision of virtual care services connecting with a
healthcare provider by email, phone or video call has reached a tipping point in the context of COVID-19 pandemic because Telehealth- virtual care was viewed as an effective means to minimise in person visitation and reduce the spread of the virus.
Many Countries changed their perspectives on using the Telehealth in the context of COVID-19 as a powerful tool to handle swiftly the current infection. Telehealth in practice was not just a novel approach to care but a necessary one for public health safety.
Virtual health care is defined as any form of health care delivered without the patient and the clinician being present in the same physical space. Using virtual Telehealth care as a powerful digital communication applications to empower delivered care regardless of space and time.
Broadly, this includes :
- eVisits: electronic visits between the clinician and the patient using electronic health record;
- vVisits: video visits between the clinician and the patient conducted securely through an integrated video platform;
- eConsults: electronic consults between the clinician and a sub-specialist- clinician for specialty care consultations. In Pre-COVID-19, for many patients worldwide, the care was being delivered in-person.
In April-2020, as social distancing became increasingly paramount we witnessed globally the drastically reduction of any form of medical visits because almost all the care visits are now being conducted virtually.
To exemplify, in Canada (my hometown), Virtual care is “Real care”: The most recent National poll released by the Canadian Medical Association CMA (www.cma.ca/virtualcare) in May 2020 shows Canadians are overwhelmingly satisfied with virtual health care and are embracing virtual care options and would like to see them not only continued after
the COVID-19 crisis subsides but improved and expanded in the future.
Physical distancing measures designed to keep Canadians safe during the
fight against COVID-19 have led to the adoption of virtual care out of necessity.
The government swiftly mandated, Infoway to reallocate existing funds to create a Rapid Adoption of Virtual Care Fund (Canada Health Infoway 2020b) a pan- Canadian framework for virtual care for an effective rapid Virtual Response.
The global pandemic caused by the Covid-19 creates a historic challenge for numerous societies throughout the world. Virtual care has a great potential to transform from model implementations to a global supply structure to save millions of patients’ lives. However, medical staffing, technical management, and infrastructural limitations are impeding progress in this regard. In this topic we are addressing diverse audience from : academia in the fields of policy makers in Management, Digital Innovation, Healthcare management, Global health informatics, patients to assess the extent of the current implementation within different health care settings, user acceptance and perception, , and regulatory politics hurdles.
Virtual healthCare – Integrated citizen driven Innovative technologies. Global
health coverage – Health informatics – International management – New models of
care – Virtual reality augmented Mixed reality.
-/. UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):
Goal 3: Good health and well-being for people,Goal 9: Industry, Innovation,
and Infrastructure,Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals.
-/. Publication Outlet:
British Medical Journal of Health BMJHCI.
Journal of Medical Internet Research . JMIR.
Health informatics international journal. HIIJ
Healthcare Quarterly. HQ