Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Experiences From Western China.J Med Internet Res. 2020 05 08; 22(5):e19577.JM
Disasters and pandemics pose unique challenges to health care delivery. As health care resources continue to be stretched due to the increasing burden of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, telemedicine, including tele-education, may be an effective way to rationally allocate medical resources. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a multimodal telemedicine network in Sichuan Province in Western China was activated immediately after the first outbreak in January 2020. The network synergizes a newly established 5G service, a smartphone app, and an existing telemedicine system. Telemedicine was demonstrated to be feasible, acceptable, and effective in Western China, and allowed for significant improvements in health care outcomes. The success of telemedicine here may be a useful reference for other parts of the world.