Telemedicine appointments for allergy patients are equally satisfying as in-person visits, study finds

Most pediatric patients and their families are more or equally satisfied with allergy and asthma treatment delivered via telemedicine as opposed to in-person, according to a recent American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology study.

For the study, researchers surveyed 299 pediatric allergy patients or their families between 2017 and 2019. Of the participants, 37 percent were more satisfied with the telemedicine appointments, 63 percent were equally satisfied, and no patients reported feeling less satisfied with the virtual appointment compared to their most recent in-person visit.

Telemedicine is a plausible option for patients living in rural or inner-city communities where allergists are in short supply, said Jay Portnoy, MD, an allergist and co-author of the study, according to a news release. "We know telemedicine can improve people's ability to see an allergist more quickly — something that's not always available without telemedicine. Telemedicine is also a good option for treating existing patients in need of follow-up visits."

Of the study participants who indicated they were satisfied with telemedicine, 76 percent said it was because of convenience, 2 percent chose telemedicine because it was the earliest appointment and 5 percent chose the option because it was recommended to them.

ACAAI concluded that telemedicine should be implemented as a part of routine allergy and asthma treatment because the technology can help support chronic diseases management, medication refills, educational sessions, test interpretation and acute or chronic disease state assessment.

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