Telerheumatology and mobile health usage: Opportunities and barriers
Dr. Felix Mühlensiepen
Medizinische Hochschule Brandenburg, Germany
He talks about acceptance, chances and barriers of telemedicine implementation in rheumatology care from the perspectives of physicians and patients in Germany. Physicians demonstrate a high acceptance towards the use of telemedicine in rheumatology. Patients also accept telemedicine, especially since the outbreak of COVID-19. From the patient’s perspective, the opportunities of telemedicine are the improvement of access to rheumatology care. Physicians appreciate the potential of telemedicine in terms of tight disease monitoring and the effective allocation of scarce human resources in rheumatology care. Key barriers to the implementation of telemedicine are the limited knowledge on digitization among users, the lack of comprehensive digital infrastructure and equipment, and the absence of incentives and an adequate reimbursement system. Patients and physicians agree that telemedicine cannot replace, but might complement physical-personal contact.
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