Stanford researchers: Telemedicine optimization requires training, interoperability

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In a new Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association article, scientists highlight the gaps they still see in telemedicine and the opportunities for growth beyond the COVID-19 crisis.
Stanford-affiliated researchers Ran Sun, Douglas W. Blayney and Tina Hernandez-Boussard saw firsthand how the use of telehealth shot up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rapid growth in care, they said in an article published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, has also inspired discussions on the best way to use telemedicine for disease management.

"To optimize patient and provider experience through telemedicine, stakeholders need to focus on enhancing technology interoperability and usability and providing sufficient training for efficient telemedicine use," wrote Sun, Blayney and Hernandez-Boussard.

Sun, who was affiliated with the Stanford University Department of Medicine at the time she was listed as first author on the piece, now works at Johnson and Johnson.

WHY IT MATTERS

The research team noted that it is unlikely that care will return to pre-COVID-19 levels when it comes to the balance between in-person and virtual services.

Because of that, they said, policymakers and informaticists should take action now to develop an optimal telemedicine care model.

"These guidelines are a necessary step in a larger agenda that will help assess the ethics, regulation and effectiveness of telemedicine as a platform for healthcare delivery," they…
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