HumanInsight Definition of a Method for the Evaluation of Telemedicine Platforms in the Italian Context
Telemed J E Health. 2022 Oct 7. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2022.0326. Online ahead of print.
Background: The COVID-19 outbreak led to the diffusion of several telemedicine solutions. The choice of the correct platform is crucial for ensuring the release of effective assistance. However, there is a lack of an objective method for the assessment of technical features. Objective: This study proposes a methodology for the evaluation of functional requirements of telemedicine platforms. This approach also permits the comparison of solutions in the Italian market by means of defined parameters, thus directing the choice of health care professionals. Methods: The study is divided into three phases. First, a mapping of the telemedicine platforms operating in Italy is performed. Then, the available platforms are selected based on the offered telemedicine activity. Finally, a method for evaluating the investigated platforms is defined. Results: Thirty-three (n = 33) technological systems were identified through an accurate investigation on the web and interviews with IT companies. Fifteen parameters were defined and organized into three categories: (1) usability of the telemedicine platform, (2) security, and (3) technological and organizational aspects. A score between 1 and 4 was assigned to each parameter, proportionally to the completeness of the platform. In particular, 62.96% of platforms reached an average score between 3.01 and 4 points; 33.33% of them had scores between 2.01 and 3, while the remaining 3.70% of solutions obtained a result between 1.01 and 2. Conclusions: The study provides an evaluation approach that is easily usable by health professionals to select the most suitable platform. The number of solutions and quality of information could be updated to obtain a complete tool.
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