Wed, Jan 18, 2017 | updated 11:26 AM IST

Telemedicine is more effective for kids with asthma

Updated: Sep 09, 2016 16:24 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Sept. 9 (ANI): A new study in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology shows telemedicine for the treatment of asthma can be as effective as an in-person visit.

Jay Portnoy, an allergist, said: "We found that children seen by telemedicine using real-time video conferencing and digital exam equipment was just as effective as in-person visits."

Adding, "In addition, there were high levels of satisfaction by the kids and their parents, regarding the long-distance care."

The study identified the patients, who scheduled an appointment to be seen for asthma and who lived long distances from the hospital.

They were offered a choice of keeping their original in-person appointment or changing it to a telemedicine visit.

The telemedicine option involved a visit to a local clinic.

The control group of patients was seen at the allergy clinic. The two groups were followed over six months.

The telemedicine sessions required a registered nurse or respiratory therapist at the site to operate the telemedicine equipment.

This allowed the allergist to see and hear the patient in real-time, and to pan and zoom a wide-angle camera.

There was a digital stethoscope for listening to heart and lungs, and a digital otoscope for examining ears and nose.

Allergist Chitra Dinakar said, "All of those seen whether in the clinic or by telemedicine - showed an improvement in asthma control over the 6 months. We were encouraged because sometimes those with the greatest need for an asthma specialist live in underserved areas such as rural or inner-city communities where allergists aren't always available. The study shows these kids can get effective care from a specialist, even if they don't happen to live close to where an allergist practices."

The research was published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology journal. (ANI)