Mobile Technology-Based Real-Time Teleotolaryngology Care Facilitated by a Nonotolaryngologist Physician in an Adult Population
Telehealth can improve access to specialist care. Very few reports of the use of smartphones for teleotolaryngology exist. The objective of this study is to evaluate the use of mobile teleotolaryngology facilitated by a nonotolaryngologist physician.Methods:
A prospective study in adult patients attending a general otolaryngology outpatient clinic. The telehealth encounter with a remote otolaryngologist was facilitated by a final-year medical student simulating a general physician prior to the scheduled visit. The patient and the remote otolaryngologist rated their satisfaction with the encounter. The remote otolaryngologist formulated a diagnosis and rated the level of certainty of this diagnosis. Diagnoses from the telehealth encounter and the face-to-face encounter were compared.Results:
Forty-eight patients with an average age of 42.5 years participated in this study. In 79.2% of the consultations, there was concordance between the diagnoses. The average patient and remote otolaryngologist satisfaction with the encounter was 9.5 ± 0.9 and 8.7 ± 1.3, respectively. Twenty-four of the 48 visits (50%) were defined as unnecessary. In the otology group, concordance rates and rates of preventable visits were highest.Conclusions:
Synchronous telehealth consultations, facilitated by a general physician, can be an alternative to visiting a general otolaryngology clinic, especially for otologic patients.