STUDY ON IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON 5A's of TELEMEDICINE
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2021, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 803-814
AbstractCOVID-19 lockdown restricted movement throughout the world. The whole world was quarantined and a large number of populations faced stressful situations in other aspects of daily life such as unexpected economic downturn, the higher burden on non-communicable diseases, lifestyle changes, various mental health issues, etc. There was a need for innovative and unique solutions to help and address the critical shortage of healthcare providers not only for those who were infected with COVID-19 but also for those who may require medical attention. During this critical situation, telemedicine services resurfaced and become an asset, with greater importance to the health-care delivery spectrum. The rate at which implementation of telemedicine services are occurring throughout the world, it becomes necessary for the organizations to understand the needs of the people who opt for such services. While several healthcare providers and systems have turned to telemedicine to maintain contact with their regular patients to minimize their risks of direct contact, the rate of adoption of this technology among patients hitherto accustomed to face-to-face consultation is uncertain, particularly in developing countries like India. The adoption can be measured with help of five variables i.e. Availability, Affordability, Accessibility, Accommodation, and Acceptability.Aims and objectives:
The purpose of this study is to analyze impact of COVID-19 pandemic on telemedicine services provided post onset of pandemic in the year 2020. The study intends to evaluate these changes with help of five dimension of healthcare access to namely Affordability, Availability Accessibility, Accommodation and Acceptability and how the telemedicine services have been in use to provide the remote healthcare to the patients in need during this period. 5A’s of Telemedicine will be assessed thoroughly based upon the set parameters and from the perspective of end user of the telemedicine i.e. patients, with the help of structuredquestionnaire.The study, therefore, attempts to evaluate the 5A’s of telemedicine from the patient perspective during the pandemicperiod.
Majority of the respondents either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed all the 5A of telemedicine has improved during this pandemic.
Affordability of telemedicine has improved post pandemic and has become cost effective owing to reduction in travel and reimbursement for telemedicine consultation. In case of availability of telemedicine has improved with respective to specialty consultations and more hospitals have opened telemedicine post pandemic in order to keep up with their foot fall and revenue. Accommodation with respect to languages, user friendly apps has been found very useful during pandemic. Accessibility has seen tremendous improvement due to the availability of smart phones and hi-speed internet. Finally, all the above factors have helped to improve the acceptability of telemedicine during this pandemic situation
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