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Rapid review of applications of e-health and remote monitoring for rural residents
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Annie Banbury, A Roots, S Nancarrow
Background: E-health is increasingly being identified as a cost-effective method to deliver health services and remote monitoring in rural and remote areas. There is a paucity of research that identifies successful implementation of e-health and remote monitoring in rural communities. Objective: To identify the evidence relating to the impact of e-health on rural and remote communities and residents. Design: Asystematic, rapid review of grey and published peer-reviewed literature using CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsychInfo, APAIS-Health, ATSI Health, Health Collection, Health & Society, Meditext, RURAL, PubMedand Google Scholar. Search terms used included telemedicine, telehealth, e-health, regional, rural and remote communities; New South Wales, Australia, and other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. Electronic health records and health informatics were excluded. Results: The search yielded 105 articles and reports. Following removal of duplicates, initial screening and full text screening, 19 articles remained: 16 peer-reviewed publications and three grey literature. This included two systematic reviews, one literature review, six descriptive reviews of services and nine reviews of specific interventions and identification of barriers and facilitators to implementation of an intervention. There was evidence that e-health can increase access to services across a range of medical specialties without any detrimental effects and improve opportunities for professional development. Conclusion: E-health has the potential to increase access to services in rural and remote communities. The evidence shows that it is as safe, effective and reliable as most conventional methods for interacting with patients while enabling people to stay within their own communities.