New Study: Telemedicine with In-Person Visits is Best for Asthma Care
Millions of people globally are afflicted with asthma. It’s a chronic respiratory ailment that can have crippling effects if not treated properly. Hospitalization or, at worst, even death can be possible outcomes. It remains difficult to give asthma patients the proper attention and motivation.
The use of telemedicine has become an innovative strategy for treating chronic illnesses such as asthma. This technique affords patients the needed medical support and advice from healthcare experts without the need for their physical presence in a clinic.
Nowadays, debates on whether telemedicine can fully replace in-person consultations for asthma care ensue. To manage asthma, a new study looked at how well telemedicine and in-person visits can efficiently work together.
The findings of the study hold critical implications for asthma care.
The Conduct of the Study
The newly published research was conducted by the ‘Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice’. It examined 125 asthma patients over six months. The study compared the patients’ telemedicine appointments against their clinic visits.
The patients in the telemedicine group received regular virtual visits. And those in the in-person group received regular visits with healthcare professionals at a clinic.
Patients in the combination group received both in-person care and telemedicine. They received virtual visits with healthcare professionals in between their in-person visits.
The researchers monitored how patients handled their asthma by utilizing a widely recognized tool called the Asthma Control Test (ACT) for six months. This survey is an authorized instrument that measures the intensity of asthma symptoms while detecting their impact.
Also, the researchers tracked the number of emergency room visits, hospitalizations among the patients, and asthma exacerbations. They assessed patients' satisfaction with their asthma care using a standardized questionnaire.
The Results of the Study
The research study revealed that the combination group has proven to be a successful therapy for patients with asthma. The findings further state that:
- reported remarkable enhancements in their lung function—a reduced frequency of asthma attacks and fewer visits to emergency rooms—unlike those who either opted for telemedicine or in-person treatment.
- expressed higher levels of contentment compared to patients who received in-person care or telemedicine.
- recognized that telemedicine has provided convenience in accessing healthcare services, while personal interactions at the clinics afforded confidence and customized attention.
Some of the pointers highlighted in the study are the following:
- Patients experience improved asthma control when in-person care is combined with telemedicine.
- Higher ACT scores in patients who received a combination of treatments indicate better asthma symptom control.
- Patients who received either telemedicine or in-person care alone had less asthma control.
For satisfaction ratings, the results are the following:
- High satisfaction levels for patients who receive telemedicine with personal care
- Low satisfaction levels for patients who receive either in-person care or telehealth services
Telemedicine provides remarkable advantages in asthma care since patients have convenient access to medical support and counseling. Furthermore, it’s highly recommended to combine it with in-person consultations to give patients personalized care and attention.
The research study concludes that telemedicine, when integrated with in-person visits, results in fewer asthma exacerbation outcomes as opposed to when using telemedicine or in-person care alone.
How Does the Study Impact Asthma Care?
Based on the results of the study, telemedicine significantly impacts asthma management. It showed remarkable improvements in treating asthma. Also, it proves to have potential benefits when used in combination with in-person visits.
Telemedicine ensures patients receive medical advice and continuous monitoring, even in remote areas. Conversely, in-person visits enable patients to receive a physical examination and monitor lung function.
The combination of both telemedicine and in-person visits strengthens asthma management. Patients enjoy the technology of telemedicine while at the same time receiving personalized care through their in-person visits to the clinic.
Furthermore, combining telemedicine with in-person visits helps to lessen healthcare costs by reducing unnecessary hospitalizations as well as emergency room visits.
Limitations of the Study
It is essential to analyze the research limitations while assessing the results.
- The research involved a limited number of participants and was conducted in one location. Extensive research should be conducted with larger groups in several locations for the findings to be validated.
- The study didn’t examine the long-term effects of in-person care and telemedicine. Further studies are needed to evaluate the benefits of sustainability over time.
- The study didn’t examine the cost-effectiveness of in-person care and telemedicine for asthma management. Further studies are required to evaluate the economic impact of these interventions.
Telemedicine and Asthma Care
Telemedicine has become well-known for providing asthma patients with healthcare services. With this new technique, patients can receive medical consultations and healthcare provider support from the comfort of their homes.
The use of telemedicine is beneficial in asthma healthcare. Patients are no longer required to make regular hospital visits, as this technology allows for remote medical assistance and guidance.
By incorporating telemedicine, individuals who require constant monitoring of their asthma symptoms can receive helpful support. They can document their symptoms via telemedicine and receive valuable advice on how to manage them.
However, several experts have expressed concerns about telemedicine for asthma care. These experts argue that telemedicine will not replace personal visits.
Healthcare experts have the opportunity to assess the patient's symptoms when they visit the doctor’s clinic. Then they modify their treatment techniques using telemedicine.
The Role of Patient Education in Associating Telemedicine and In-Person Visits for Asthma Care
A new type of care for asthma patients combines in-person visits with remote monitoring and online consultations. This combined care method enhances patient outcomes, lowers healthcare expenses, and raises patient satisfaction.
To fully maximize the benefits and advantages of this combined care method, patient education must be a key component of the process. Let’s discuss this in detail.
At the onset, patient education is a vital component of asthma management, regardless of the delivery method. Asthma patients should know the nature of their condition, the factors that trigger their asthma exacerbations, and the importance of treatment adherence.
With telemedicine, it’s expected that patients should take ownership of their health conditions. This means that patients should be fully responsible for the following:
- Monitoring their symptoms
- Communicate with healthcare providers
- Handling monitoring equipment
- Understanding the data collected
- Know when to escalate issues to their medical provider
The above would be made possible through clear communication, accessible educational materials, and continuous support from healthcare providers.
To bridge the gap between in-person and remote care, patient education must be incorporated into the hybrid care model. This means that patients should be knowledgeable of the following:
- Know when to book in-person appointments
- How to prepare for virtual consultations
- Able to effectively communicate with healthcare teams
- Acknowledge the limitations of telemedicine and recognize when in-person appointments are necessary. For instance, during an acute asthma exacerbation, it is vital to have in-person care.
- Committed to getting involved and following the treatment plan, such as lifestyle adjustments
Patients who are equipped with knowledge and skills are more likely to take an active role. Additionally, patient education helps reduce the burden on healthcare providers, including lessened hospital admissions, enhanced patient self-management and minimized unnecessary visits.
Barriers To Adopting A Combination Of Telemedicine And In-Person Visits For Asthma Care
Access to Technology
Reliable internet connections, smartphones, or computers are necessary for accessing technology. This presents a major challenge for patients who have limited access to these resources. This can limit their ability to participate in virtual visits and receive adequate care.
Knowledge of Technology
Older adults may struggle with using new technology, which can further alleviate the issue. Despite the user-friendliness of telemedicine platforms, some individuals lack the opportunity to familiarize themselves with and enjoy the marvels of innovations.
Insurance Coverage and Affordability
Healthcare providers find it difficult to offer their patients these innovative services since many insurance companies don’t or only partially cover virtual visits. Additionally, this makes it difficult for patients who are unable to afford the expenses.
Telemedicine may not be suitable for all patients, particularly those with severe asthma or who require specialized care. In-person visits allow for a more thorough examination and assessment, which are necessary for some patients.
Treat Your Asthma with Telemedicine and In-Person Consultation
The study concludes that the most effective method for treating asthma is a combination of telemedicine and in-person consultations. Telemedicine provides convenient access to care, while in-person visits provide additional personalized care.
Telemedicine has revolutionized asthma care by giving patients convenient access to medical guidance and support with just a click. To make the treatment personalized and get more profound support, It is important to combine it with in-person visits.
We at Omega Pediatrics fully support this hybrid model of managing asthma for our young patients. We offer telemedicine services for our patients’ convenience. We also recommend that you visit us at our office in Roswell, Georgia, for a more personalized treatment.
Omega Pediatrics takes pride in our expertise in your child’s healthcare needs, particularly managing asthma. We aim to have your little one enjoy childhood while overcoming asthma.