Last year, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) formally endorsed the use of telemedicine for allergy and immunology care. Now, after examining pediatric allergy patients’ experiences with asthma or allergy telemedicine over a three-year period, a team of researchers has found that roughly two-thirds of the respondents were equally satisfied with the telemedicine appointment as compared to a traditional, in-office appointment; the remaining one-third felt even more satisfied with the telemedicine encounter than an in-office visit. No patients or families felt less satisfied with the virtual visit than an in-office visit. The results were presented at the ACAAI Annual Scientific Meeting in Houston earlier this month.
When asked, three-quarters of the patients cited convenience as the main reason for their satisfaction; whatever the reason, such as distance or preference to remain at home, patients appreciated the fact that they were not required to travel to an office. Less than 10 percent opted for a telemedicine visit due to recommendation or ease of scheduling.
For the study, 299 patients or their families were surveyed between 2017 and 2019. The enthusiasm shown for telemedicine appears encouraging; allergists are often in short supply in rural areas and in inner-city communities, and telemedicine makes it easier for patients to get to an allergist quickly. The patients’ acceptance of the technology in this study bodes well for introducing allergy telemedicine to a broader audience.
ACAAI promotes the incorporation of telemedicine strategies into routine allergy and asthma care in order to enhance or facilitate follow-up care, chronic disease management, patient education, test interpretation, remote patient evalution, and medication refills.
To read more about the study, visit ACAAI here.