COVID-19 has indeed prompted many patients to use telemedicine so they can receive care and virtually see their doctors regularly.
A new study, presented at the online American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting 2019, has revealed that “show rates” for children with asthma increased during the coronavirus pandemic – thanks to telemedicine.
Parents brought their children to virtual appointments rather than a “no show.”
Study author Dr. Kenny Kwong said, “It would be normal to expect parents to be hesitant to bring kids into an asthma checkup during a pandemic.”
Dr. Kwong is an allergist and immunologist in Los Angeles, who is affiliated with LAC USC Medical Center.
“We run the LAC+USC Breathmobile program (an urban school-based mobile asthma program) in Los Angeles and have regular asthma patients we work with,” Dr. Kwong added. “The pandemic in 2020 resulted in closure of most Los Angeles schools and face to face visits were converted to telemedicine visits.”
“We found that not only did kids show up for appointments, but their show rates were also significantly higher than during the same period in 2019.”
Along with an increase in show rates, Dr. Kwong found that more than 90% of patients reported well-controlled asthma on their asthma control test (ACT) using telemedicine.
In addition, medical providers and nurses from the Breathmobile, a custom-built pediatric asthma and allergy clinic, reported a 32% to 62% increase in telemedicine visits compared to in-person visits.
Co-author of the study Dr. Lyne Scott, which is a member of ACAAI, said, “Kids with asthma need treatment that is consistent and specialized to their individual needs,”
“It’s reassuring and encouraging that the quality of care young patients, including those in underserved populations, received via virtual access kept their asthma under control,” Dr. Scott added. “This study shows it’s possible to move towards new models of treatment that increase access and convenience for the patient and still maintain quality of care.” The article originally appeared on Science Daily.