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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 155-157

A single-center prospective observational study evaluating telemedicine for kidney transplant patients in the Coronavirus disease-19 pandemic: Breaking the access barrier

1 Department Nephrology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Fortis Escorts, New Delhi, India
2 Department Nephrology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Fortis Escorts; Department Nephrology and Kidney Transplant, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Pathology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Research Cell, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sanjeev Gulati
Department of Nephrology and Kidney Transplant, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijot.ijot_96_21

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Introduction: The coronavirus pandemic has restricted access to health-care services for kidney transplant patients because of concerns of COVID-19 infection. This single-center prospective study was done to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of telemedicine services for regular follow-up of kidney transplant patients as well as for triaging patients for admission. Methods: The study was undertaken during the lockdown period in India from March 23, 2020 to June 30, 2020. A formatted message seeking all relevant information was sent before teleconsultation. WhatsApp/email using smartphones and Electronic Medical Records system were used to provide telemedicine services. At the end of the e-consult, the patient was asked to rate his experience on a scale of 0–10. Results: A total of 296 consults for 122 patients were given. Of these, 239 (80.7%) consults (96 patients) were for domestic patients and 57 (19.3%) consults (26 patients) were for international patients. The mean age of the patients was 43 ± 15 years. The mean patient satisfaction score for e-consults was 9.5 ± 0.7. Four (3.3%) patients were seen for the first time after transplant via teleconsultation. Nine (7.4%) patients were advised admission and the rest were advised follow-up teleconsultation. Among those admitted, 6 (4.9%) were COVID positive and 1 (0.8%) patient died of COVID-19 pneumonia. Conclusions: Telemedicine offers a viable modality for health-care delivery when access to health care is restricted for transplant patients. Our model of telemedicine can be replicated easily without the burden of high cost for infrastructure.

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