Access to Care Matters: Remote Health Care Needs during COVID-19

Juan Vazquez, Tanzina Islam, Jonathan M. Gursky, Jennifer Beller, Daniel Jose Correa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is straining health care worldwide with >31 million confirmed cases. Currently, 1 in every 100 U.S. residents and 245,000 in New York City are confirmed positive. The Bronx, with high-risk comorbidities, due in part to socioeconomic factors, has seen disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19-related complications. Poor health care access is exacerbated as in-person visits now pose viral transmission risk. There has been limited discourse regarding widespread disparities underlying transitions to telemedicine. Methods: We review perspectives in recent literature on telemedicine and its potential within neurology. Results: While telemedicine has reduced strain on in-person visits, preliminary reflections highlight implementation successes and challenges. Conclusions: To provide effective care beyond this crisis, fundamental changes in training, technological accessibility, and health care policy are needed. We propose open access to telehealth training, screening of patient's potential technological inequities and socioeconomic insecurities, and advocacy to secure broad long-term access to telehealth care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-471
Number of pages4
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • diversity
  • equity
  • health disparities
  • health policy
  • inclusion
  • medical ethics
  • structural and social determinants of health
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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