Telehealth and Telemedicine in Response to Critical Coronavirus: A Systematic Review


Coronavirus Infections
SARS Virus

How to Cite

Safdari, R. ., Gholamzadeh, M. ., Rezayi, S. ., Tanhapour, M. ., & Saeedi, S. (2021). Telehealth and Telemedicine in Response to Critical Coronavirus: A Systematic Review. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 23(9).


Background: Due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), applying telehealth and telemedicine to prevent the spread of the disease is inevitable.

Objectives: Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the application of telehealth and telemedicine in the human coronavirus epidemic.

Methods: The systematic search was conducted using Medline (through PubMed), Scopus, and ISI Web of Science to identify relevant studies published until June 10, 2020. The inclusion criteria were the usage of telemedicine and telehealth as healthcare services during COVID-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), or Middle East respiratory syndrome epidemics. This review was performed according to the guidelines of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses.

Results: In total, 598 articles were identified after the removal of the duplicates. After the systematic screening, 18 studies met the inclusion criteria. The analysis showed that only one study was related to SARS, and the rest were on COVID-19 disease. Teleconsultation and televisit were more prevalent (55.6%) than the other types of telemedicine services. The most mentioned obstacles were access to suitable technologies and lack of assessment or follow-up to achieve outcomes.

Conclusion: The results indicated that telehealth and telemedicine could have advantages, such as prevention of the spread of COVID-19, reduction of the healthcare burden, and maintenance of appropriate patient care. In addition to these benefits, several limitations and obstacles, including organizational, technological, and patient-related barriers, may be encountered. Hence, it is better to consider the necessary arrangements before implementing telemedicine.


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