Telemedicine for Chronic Kidney Disease-Digital Division of Advantages and Disadvantages

According to a medical review published by Medscape, patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who chose the virtual treatment line generally reported higher efficiency than those who chose face-to-face consultation and treatment. .. Cost-effective reasons include better clinical outcomes, reduced emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and acceptable advantages compared to those receiving direct treatment.

“The nature of CKD care is particularly well suited for virtual care, given the relevant medical history, laboratory survey reviews, and counseling that can all be done via a virtual platform.” Ann Young of the University Health Network in Toronto, Ontario, Canada said in a statement released by the American Society of Nephrology.

Before digging deeper into the study to understand the conclusions, let’s understand what chronic kidney disease is.

Simply put, chronic kidney disease means that your kidneys are damaged and you can no longer filter your blood the way it should. The name is chronic because loss of kidney function is a gradual process. CKD can cause waste products to build up in your body and cause other health problems. “The prevalence of CKD is expected to increase as the number of cases of diabetes increases in India.” The report by NCBI is stated.

Key Highlights of Chronic Kidney Disease Prevalence in India:

  • The number of Indians suffering from chronic kidney disease doubled between 2008 and 2018.
  • 8-10% of the adult population suffers from some form of kidney disease.
  • In India, CKD is more common in men than in women.
  • The CKD Registry Authority registered 63,538 chronic kidney diseases in 2011.
  • The number of people with diabetes in India increased from 26 million in 1990 to 65 million in 2016.
  • One in three diabetics in India reports chronic kidney disease.
  • The most common cause of CKD in India is diabetic nephropathy, which accounts for about 41% of cases.

Telemedicine and Kidney Stones-What are the Benefits?

Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide and account for the major medical costs. Patients with chronic kidney disease often remain asymptomatic in the early stages of the disease and are not optimally treated. In such cases, remote monitoring is offered as a highly efficient solution where optimal patient care is a central element. According to medical reports, remote monitoring improves patient autonomy within the system by allowing patients to better control and understand chronic illnesses and their associated symptoms. This is an important incentive for treatment.

“”These are the times when telemedicine is incredibly useful. Patients living in rural communities who have to deal with mobility issues can also benefit from virtual counseling. Telemedicine can relieve the stress of visiting the clinic and benefit from difficult times. Video-based telemedicine provides an alternative delivery model for CKD patients. ”: Milind Joshi, General Surgeon, Pristine Care

Telemedicine may reduce and gradually close the disparities that arise from face-to-face consultations.

Disadvantages of the digital divide

As with other treatments, attention should be paid to the “digital divide” when telemedicine is being evaluated.

According to a statement from the American Society of Nephrology “The results of telemedicine for kidney stones are promising, but as the latest technology is streamlined to everyday healthcare, the” digital divide “becomes more prominent, with broadband internet connections and people who do not have access to video-enabled devices. And technology literacy that adversely affects a limited number of people. “

“It can be important for patients to visit the clinic or receive imaging treatment at the clinic, but it is the quality of care in the virtual context, as is the case with the care received at the doctor’s clinic. It doesn’t obscure its importance. Virtual visits save time, energy, and money. However, the benefits of face-to-face consultation have their own advantages that disappear in virtual scenarios. It is a matter of disadvantages and benefits and worries. “ Rohit Kaushal, a urologist at Pristyn Care, says.

Telemedicine and Face-to-face Consultation-What does research say?

Twenty-four studies, published between 1997 and 2020, were conducted in 10 countries and reported the use of facility-specific technology, primarily from hospital sites to remote medical facilities. The subjects of the study included patients with CKD, dialysis, and recipients of kidney transplants.

A study conducted in telemedicine in patients with CKD reported a variety of clinical outcomes, changes in renal function, blood pressure, and other biochemical markers compared to face-to-face care.

“For telemedicine groups, visits and hospitalizations to the emergency room were, if not less, the same compared to face-to-face care. However, in this study, telemedicine improves efficiency and consults with specialists. It has been reported that there is a significant reduction in waiting time, a reduction in cancellation of medical appointments, and a reduction in travel time to the clinic. “ Researchers in the above studies unanimously found it.

More than 95% of the subjects involved in the study expressed a high level of satisfaction with CKD telemedicine. Most patients reported the same level of care they received in their personal visits. The study further stated that the clinical endpoints among kidney transplant recipients are equivalent for those using telemedicine and those receiving personal care.

What do medical professionals think about telemedicine for the treatment of chronic kidney disease?

Practitioners have a strong opinion that innovative modality is on the verge of revolutionizing the way CKD care is delivered. Based on current trends, medical scientists and physicians believe that telemedicine is the way forward. Treatment no longer involves traveling to the clinic or leaving their home. The potential benefits of virtual care include efficiency, quality, and vast access to care at the same time. Despite the challenges, adapting to modern multifaceted care will significantly change the structure of care, especially during this extremely difficult pandemic.

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