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Review of Systematic Reviews in the Field of Telemedicine

HumanInsight Review of Systematic Reviews in the Field of Telemedicine

Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2021 Dec 29;35:184. doi: 10.47176/mjiri.35.184. eCollection 2021.


Background: Although the systematic reviews regarding telemedicine have increased in recent decades, no comprehensive studies have been conducted to review these systematic reviews. The present study aimed to review the published systematic reviews regarding telemedicine applications for the report and appraisal of several aspects. Methods: The literature search was performed in the PubMed database for the systematic reviews published during January 2010-June 2020 in the field of telemedicine using "telemedicine" Mesh terms. The extracted data from the selected articles were the year of publication, telemedicine specialty, clinical outcomes, cost evaluation, and satisfaction assessment. Data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics. Results: Among 746 retrieved articles, 191 cases were selected and reviewed. Most of the studies were focused on telemedicine (n=35; 18.3%), followed by telerehabilitation (n=22; 11.5%), tele-diabetes (n=18; 9.4%), telecardiology (n=16; 8.3%), home telecare (n=13; 6.8%), telepsychiatry (n=12; 6.3%), teledermatology (n=11; 5.7%), and teleneurology (n=9; 4.7%). The selected studies were primarily focused on clinical outcomes (72.7%), followed by cost-effectiveness (32.4%) and user satisfaction (29.3%). In addition, they mostly indicated that telemedicine services yielded acceptable clinical outcomes (72.5%), cost-effectiveness (67.7%), and healthcare provider/patient satisfaction (83.9%). Conclusion: Although telerehabilitation, tele-diabetes, telecardiology, home telecare, and telepsychiatry were studied further, there are still some specific specialties such as teleradiology, telepathology, and telepediatric that should be considered more. Moreover, investigation of various outcomes could result in a more comprehensive view of this field. Therefore, further investigations in this regard would improve telemedicine applications and encourage potential telemedicine providers to initiate these applications.

PMID:36042824 | PMC:PMC9391764 | DOI:10.47176/mjiri.35.184

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