Role of Telemedicine in Otorhinolaryngology during COVID-19 Pandemic in a Tertiary Care Centre of Tamil Nadu: A Prospective Cohort Study
Dr. RB Namasivaya Navin,
4/172, Nadar Line, Gangaikondan, Neyveli, Chennai-607802, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Telemedicine is the practice of using telecommunication technology to provide healthcare services to patients in remote areas. Teleconsultation is used in various specialties of medicine, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic situation. But in developing countries like India, it is less practicable in surgical specialties like Otorhinolaryngology.
Aim: To determine the eligibility and effectiveness of telemedicine practice in otorhinolaryngology during the COVID-19 pandemic in a tertiary care centre of Chengalpattu district, Tamil Nadu, India.
Materials and Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted at Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu, India from September 2021 to February 2022 which involved 90 patients who requested a consultation for various ear, nose, and throat complaints. Based on history, a provisional diagnosis was made and treated. Feedback forms contained 11 questions were sent during the revisit and analyses were made. Statistical analysis were done using mean, proportion and Chi-square test.
Results: This study included 49 (54.4%) male and 41 (45.6%) female patients with a mean age of 40.68 years. Only 23 (25.6%) patients had no problem seeing the doctor clearly and 19 (21.1%) had no trouble hearing the doctor. Only 4 (4.4%) patients accepted teleconsultation and will use teleconsultation services again.
Conclusion: This study concluded that teleconsultation practice was not satisfactory for the majority of patients in the field of otorhinolaryngology. The inability to arrive at the definitive diagnosis and subsequent therapeutic procedures by using telemedicine was the limitation.