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Smartphone-Assisted Medical Care for Vestibular Dysfunction as a Telehealth Strategy for Digital Therapy Beyond COVID-19: Scoping Review

HumanInsight Smartphone-Assisted Medical Care for Vestibular Dysfunction as a Telehealth Strategy for Digital Therapy Beyond COVID-19: Scoping Review

JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2023 Sep 11;11:e48638. doi: 10.2196/48638.


BACKGROUND: Dizziness and vertigo can be caused by various factors, such as peripheral vestibular and central disorders. Although consultations with specialists are advisable when necessary, patients with severe vertigo symptoms may have limited mobility, which may interfere with hospital visits. The spread of COVID-19 has further limited the number of hospital visits for patients with dizziness; therefore, a method of medical care that enables more accurate treatment under time and geographical constraints is needed. Telemedicine has become widespread, owing to the popularity of smartphone and tablet devices in recent years, and the use of devices and systems has made it possible to provide efficient medical care. However, no previous scoping review has mapped existing studies on telemedicine for vertigo and dizziness, and no recommendations have been made regarding which devices and systems should be used for specific diseases.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this review was to map and assess previous studies on the use of information communications technology, smartphones, and apps for treating patients with vertigo and discuss the added value of introducing telemedicine to improve the quality of medical care and create an environment that builds security and trust among patients.

METHODS: A scoping review was conducted with the methodological framework of Arksey and O'Malley and in accordance with the of the PRISMA-ScR (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis extension for Scoping Reviews) guidelines. The PubMed, MEDLINE, and Cochrane Library databases were searched to retrieve previous reports on smartphone-assisted telemedicine treatment for vertigo published between January 2000 and May 2023. Two authors independently assessed eligibility and extracted data.

RESULTS: This review included 20 papers that reported devices or systems for telemedicine for vestibular dysfunction. Among studies that reported the use of a device or app, 2 were related to anamnesis and subjective symptoms, 12 were related to objective examination, 7 were related to remote diagnosis, and 7 were related to treatment and rehabilitation.

CONCLUSIONS: With the advancement of technology, the use of telemedicine in patients with dizziness may be feasible. In the future, it will be necessary to consider how telemedicine can be used in dizziness treatment and develop an effective treatment system combining in-person medical care and the effective use of devices for the management of severe vertigo and related diseases. The smooth introduction of telemedicine in vertigo treatment is expected to improve the quality of treatment, increase opportunities for patients to receive medical care, and reduce time and travel costs, leading to a sense of security and trust among patients.

PMID:37695671 | DOI:10.2196/48638

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