Volume 28, Issue 9 (12-2021)                   RJMS 2021, 28(9): 135-145 | Back to browse issues page

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Amini Z, Askary kachoosangy R. A review of telemedicine in preterm infants in the corona pandemic. RJMS 2021; 28 (9) :135-145
URL: http://rjms.iums.ac.ir/article-1-6860-en.html
Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran , Zahra.mini75@gmail.com
Abstract:   (1686 Views)
Background & Aims: Neonatal care have changed dramatically over the last year by coronavirus epidemic in the world .Besides, the current situation seems to continue for a long time .in addition premature infants are at risk for various disorders in their motor and cognitive development compared to adult infants. Therefore, in order to minimize the developmental problems caused by prematurity, this community needs to receive timely interventions in the golden time of hospitalization in neonatal intensive care units and after discharge. Researches are looking for an alternative way to provide services in case the coronavirus has affected the outcomes of the parents and neonates and the necessity of providing early intervention .Therefore using telemedicine for giving services from distance can be a helpful method .Consequently, by considering the corona pandemic and limited studies about telemedicine in this field, the present study is a review of the history of telemedicine in neonatal care and it's uses, to collect related documents in a single article, as a result it can be helpful for cilinical use of this method.
The use of telemedicine in the field of infants dates back to 1998, when equipment was used to communicate live with the parents of premature infants admitted to the NICU to see their infants (2).  After the outbreak of coronavirus, there has been a significant increase in the use of this method by therapist(3). The advantages of this method include the following:  1- Ease of providing medical services by doctors and therapists to clients at long distances without physical presence. 2. Improving the accessibility and usefulness of services  3- Ability to provide information in the form of multimedia and multidimensional (audio, text, photos, videos, etc.)  4. Cost-effectiveness and savings in resource use (4).
Most of the published articles on telemedicine in the field of neonates are related to the diagnosis of premature retinopathy (2). As a result of this research, Isaac et al. Believe that depending on the location and number of premature infants, using telemedicine to diagnose ROP may be more cost-effective and a good economic choice compared to individual and face-to-face examinations (5).
Another group of researchers preferred the video calling method to find the most effective way to provide information through telemedicine. (6, 7) Despite presenting the results of the effectiveness of telemedicine on parent-infant factors such as increasing mother-infant attachment, reducing maternal stress and parent-infant relationships, other researchers conducted clinical trials and compared the effectiveness of providing services on parental and neonatal factors through telemedicine. In contrast, the face-to-face approach encourages (8-10).
Methods: This study is a review study that used domestic and foreign databases for collecting information between 2015 to 2020 . A total of 126 articles were found, which after reading the title and number of abstracts of 94 articles were excluded from the study due to lack of relevance or repetition of topics. Out of the remaining 32 articles, 15 were excluded from the study after reviewing their full text, which did not meet the inclusion criteria, and finally 17 articles were included in the present study.
Results: Preterm infants are at risk of various disorders in their motor and cognitive development compare to term infants. Therefore, parental education is important because the main caregivers of infants are their parents. Due to the recent improvment of communication technologies, the use of telemedicine in the field of infants is developing day by day. The evidence of using telemedicine has shown that using this method increases the access of specialists to infants, reduces unnecessary transfer of infants, reduces referrals after discharge and thus reduces costs and mother_infant separation. In addition, the use of this method of treatment in the current situation leads to the observance of the principles of quarantine and social distance and also does not interfere with the use of golden time in the treatment of infants.
Considering the increasing use of telemedicine in the field of infants and the importance of leading issues for organizations and institutions for the practical implementation of this program, further studies in the field of laws and regulations governing it, examining its effectiveness compared to face-to-face method, how to present the program Remote evaluations in the field of neonates, funding, and how to determine the target group are suggested.
Conclusion: With the prevalence of coronavirus and emphasis on minimal interpersonal communication and avoidance of referrals to medical centers as much as possible and also considering the condition of premature infants and the importance of productivity of golden time in order to get the best results Health professionals are looking for an alternative way to provide services to parents of premature infants. It seems that one of these ways is to provide remote services by using new technologies. Telemedicine is a suitable platform for providing services and multi-purpose information This way makes it easier to work, increases access and reduces economic costs.
So far, various specialists use this method in diagnosing neonatal retinopathy, parents education and home care training And other purposes. Therefore, due to the importance of this field and increasing use of it And the importance of leading issues for organizations and institutions to implement this program in practice, Further studies in the field of laws and regulations governing it, examining its effectiveness in comparison with the face-to-face method, How to provide programs and remote assessments in the field of infants, Funding and how to determine the target group is suggested.
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Type of Study: review article | Subject: Neonatology

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