Health care delivered via telephone or Internet might not improve the quality of life for people with mild asthma, but it could keep those with severe asthma out of the hospital, a new evidence review finds.
“Telehealth care” could be one way to treat growing ranks of asthma sufferers worldwide, reducing the time and cost of care for these patients and perhaps making treatment more accessible to a wider number of people, said University of Edinburgh researcher Susannah McLean and colleagues.
The researchers examined 21 studies in which asthma patients interacted with health care workers via telephone, videoconferencing, the Internet, text messages or a combination of technologies. In most cases, the patients began their care with a face-to-face visit.
It can be “very hard to pinpoint the ‘active ingredients’ of a telehealth care intervention,” said