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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 614  

COVID-19, telehealth, and eye-ear-nose-throat care provider


1 Private Academic Consultant Center, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D. Y. Patil University, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission17-Sep-2020
Date of Decision03-Feb-2021
Date of Acceptance05-Apr-2021
Date of Web Publication25-Jan-2022

Correspondence Address:
Rujittika Mungmunpuntipatip
Private Academic Consultant Center, Bangkok
Thailand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_516_20

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How to cite this article:
Mungmunpuntipatip R, Wiwanitkit V. COVID-19, telehealth, and eye-ear-nose-throat care provider. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2022;15:614

How to cite this URL:
Mungmunpuntipatip R, Wiwanitkit V. COVID-19, telehealth, and eye-ear-nose-throat care provider. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Jul 4];15:614. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2022/15/4/614/336450



Dear Sir,

It is no doubt that telehealth is useful for managing the patient during the COVID-19 pandemic. It becomes a new useful tool for examination that requires closely contact with patient such as examination in eye-ear-nose-throat (EENT) unit. The telehealth approach in the units are widely discussed for the advantage.[1],[2] A good attitude is necessary and the education for practitioner on how to effectively use the telehealth is required. Nevertheless, an import ant issue is the availability of the technology. The patient might not be able to use the system. In a recent report from USA, Madden et al.[3] noted that patient s might require assistance for telehealth. In many low-/middle-income countries, such as African and India, the telehealth facilities are limited due to limited resources and financial constraints. There are other reasons for the lack of availability of telehealth facilities such as climatic and geographical barriers to communication signals.

Although the eye care provider might have good attitudes, they might not able to use the telehealth due to unavailability. The first priority is setting facilities for telehealth. Then education and promotion of good attitude among eye care providers are the next steps.

Regarding the practice, Saunders and Roughley[2] noted that “Respondents” experience with teleaudiology has generally been positive however improvements to infrastructure and training are necessary, and because many procedures must be conducted in-person, it will always be necessary to have hybrid-care pathways available.” Indeed, the situation might be different in low/middle income countries in South and Southeast Asia. In those settings, the improvement of practitioner's knowledge and skill to correspond the COVID-19 outbreak is necessary.[4] The survey of the willingness and attitude of practitioners on using telehealth might be useful, but it is also necessary to assess the proficiency of the patient. The infrastructure of the medical center is a necessary determinant of success, but if the patient is not accessible to telehealth, it will be useless. In a recent report on uptake of telepractice among speech-language therapists following COVID-19 pandemic, the two main obstacles were network issues and cooperation from the patient during sessions.[5] The hybrid approach might also not possible in that situation. In the resource limited areas, such as remote area in India and Southeast Asia, the unnecessary and nonemergency audiology procedure is postponed and the local people do also not approach to the hospital for consul ting on audiology problem during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Liu Y, Ruan MZ, Haq Z, Hwang DG. Eye care provider attitudes toward and adoption of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. J Cataract Refract Surg 2020; [doi: 10.1097/j.jcrs. 0000000000000398. Online ahead of print].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Saunders GH, Roughley A. Audiology in the time of COVID-19: Practices and opinions of audiologists in the UK. Int J Audiol 2021;60:255-62.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Madden N, Emeruwa UN, Friedman AM, Aubey JJ, Aziz A, Baptiste CD, et al. Telehealth uptake into prenatal care and provider attitudes during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City: A quantitative and qualitative analysis. Am J Perinatol 2020;37:1005-14.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Gunjawate DR, Ravi R, Yerraguntla K, Rajashekhar B, Verma A. Impact of coronavirus disease 2019 on professional practices of audiologist s and speech language pathologists in India: A knowledge, attitude and practices survey. Clin Epidemiol Glob Health 2020. [doi: 10.1016/j.cegh. 2020.07.009. Online ahead of print].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Aggarwal K, Patel R, Ravi R. Uptake of telepractice among speech-language therapists following COVID-19 pandemic in India. Speech Language Hear. Epub [doi.org/10.1080/2050571X.2020.1812034].  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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