An App-Based Telemedicine Program for Primary Care and Specialist Video Consultations During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Mexico

Telemed J E Health. 2021 Mar 17. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2021.0055. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted the health care system in various ways, one of which is the implementation of telemedicine as a part of the daily clinical practice for many physicians. Sofía is a Mexican health care and technology startup that implemented an app-based telemedicine program during this pandemic in Mexico. Materials and Methods: The telemedicine program included on-demand video consultations with internal medicine specialists from March to September 2020. In the following study, we present a descriptive analysis of all the patients in the telemedicine program, called Coronaid. Results: 2,585 video consultations were conducted for a total of 1,545 patients and 44.4% of these were associated with respiratory symptoms. Of all patients, 46% were female and the mean age was 34 years, 52.2% were overweight or obese, and 25% presented at least one comorbid condition. Aside from respiratory complaints, the most common chief complaints were associated with gastrointestinal, psychiatric, and genitourinary symptoms. Patient satisfaction after video consultation services was >80%. Discussion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, an application-based telemedicine program had a high patient satisfaction rate in a significant sample of young patients, which can be attributed to the accessibility of the medical services and widespread use of smartphones in this patient demographic. Conclusion: Telemedicine has proven to be a useful, safe, and effective tool to improve patients’ health, which has been boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of mobile applications and video consultation services can encourage patients to improve their health and prevent complications in the short and long terms.

PMID:33733868 | DOI:10.1089/tmj.2021.0055