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Telemedicine in rheumatology: COVID-19 and beyond


Telemedicine in rheumatology: COVID-19 and beyond


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telehealth has increased in rheumatology practice, in line with many other areas of medicine, to enable healthcare delivery while reducing patients’ and providers’ risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Here we take a look at how telemedicine is used in rheumatology, explore the advantages and disadvantages, and outline what the professional guidance says. We talk to Mary De Vera, a pharmacoepidemiologist from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, whose research examines how telemedicine technologies can improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. De Vera was the lead author on a study carried out early in the COVID-19 pandemic to investigate patients’ perspectives on virtual rheumatology appointments. [Read more]

Top tips on telerheumatology

We asked Chris Phillips and Aruni Jayatilleke, both authors on the American College of Rheumatology’s telemedicine position statement, to share their top tips on how to provide the best care via telemedicine.

About the contributors

Aruni Jayatilleke, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Rheumatology Fellowship Program at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Chris Phillips, MD, is a member of the ACR’s Committee on Rheumatologic Care, where he serves as the Committee chair of the ACR’s Insurance Subcommittee. He is also serving on the ACR’s COVID-19 Practice and Advocacy Task Force.

Mary De Vera, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Latest news

12-01-2021 | Telehealth | News

Studies demonstrate acceptability of telemedicine in rheumatology

Findings from two studies suggest that telemedicine is acceptable to people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, may improve access to care for those living in resource-limited settings, and is not associated with worse disease activity outcomes.

11-11-2020 | ACR 2020 | Conference coverage | News

Survey sheds light on rheumatology provider experiences during COVID-19 pandemic

A survey of Veterans Affairs rheumatology consortium members has given greater insight into the experiences and opinions of rheumatology providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

08-11-2020 | ACR 2020 | Conference coverage | News

Telemedicine may improve rheumatology appointment attendance

Since telemedicine was introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of rheumatology appointment cancellations and non-attendances have decreased, US research suggests.

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