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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 107-112

Role of telemedicine in kidney transplant recipient in COVID 19 era


1 Department of Nephrology and Clinical Transplantation, Institute of Kidney Disease and Research Center, Dr. HL Trivedi Institute of Transplantation Sciences, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Medicine, B. J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Vivek B Kute
Department of Nephrology and Clinical Transplantation, Institute of Kidney Disease and Research Center, Dr. HL Trivedi Institute of Transplantation Sciences, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijot.ijot_154_20

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Introduction: Telemedicine represents an innovative but untested approach to maintain patient care and reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure to patients, health-care workers, and the public. In this study, we evaluated the applicability and efficacy of telemedicine in a kidney transplant recipient (KTR) cohort in COVID 19 era. Materials and Methods: An observational cohort study was conducted at a tertiary-care public-sector kidney disease institute in western India between March and September 2020. We evaluated the reasons, modes, and outcomes of patient contacts by telemedicine in the KTR cohort. We also evaluated the utility of telemedicine across three age groups. Results: Of 840 participants, whose mean age was 38.78 ± 12.39 years, male to female ratio was 4:1. The most common mode of communication was WhatsApp (653, 77.7%) followed by in-person surrogates (126, 15%). Acceptability of telemedicine was significantly better in younger and middle-age groups (P < 0.00001) compared to the elderly. Request for drug delivery (n = 756) was the most common reason for contact overall and managed through postal parcels. KTRs (n = 200) and donors (n = 75) were evaluated for medical illnesses. The most common medical reasons for contact were for febrile illness (n = 120) and graft dysfunction (n = 60). COVID-19-related disease was diagnosed and managed in 80 KTRs and 2 donors. COVID-19 updates were given to all contacts. Conclusion: Telemedicine is underutilized in the care of the KTR cohort. Telemedicine can be used across all ages although it's best suited for young and middle age groups. The impact of telemedicine on short- and long-term patient outcomes is unclear and warrants further study.


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