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Last Posted: Mar 28, 2023
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Has increased telehealth access during COVID-19 led to over-utilization of primary care?
KP Venkatesh et al, NPJ Digital Medicine, December 13, 2022

Over two years into the pandemic, the question of whether telehealth will lead to an increase in primary care utilization and spending has been met with contradictory answers. Some evidence suggests that telehealth may be used as an addition to in-person visits. Others like Dixit et al. have found that telehealth can actually substitute for in-person care rather than contribute to overutilization. As telehealth continues to evolve, outcomes, utilization, and quality of care should be closely monitored.

Considerations for policymakers for improving health care through telegenetics: A points to consider statement of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG)
HE Williams et al, Genetics in Medicine, August 30, 2022

Medical genetics health care professionals have been using telegenetics for more than 25 years with demonstrated success in genetics consultations and increased patient satisfaction. Now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, telegenetics has expanded as a necessary, effective, and invaluable care modality that allows for provision and continuation of care without the patient and genetics health care professional being in the same physical location.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Telehealth Cancer Genetics Program: A BRCA Pilot Study.
Rose Esther et al. Public health genomics 2022 8 1-14

Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) individuals face a 1 in 40 (2.5%) risk of having a BRCA mutation, which is 10 times the general population risk. JScreen launched the PEACH BRCA Study, a telehealth-based platform for BRCA education and testing, with the goal of creating an effective model for BRCA testing in low-risk AJ individuals who do not meet national testing criteria. This study established interest in broader cancer genetic testing through a telehealth platform and suggested that testing may be successful in the Jewish community at a national level and potentially in other populations, provided that patient education and genetic counseling are adequately incorporated.

Diagnostic accuracy of telemedicine for detection of surgical site infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis
R Lathan et al, NPJ Digital Medicine, August 3, 2022

Summary sensitivity and specificity was 87.8% (95% CI, 68.4–96.1) and 96.8% (95% CI 93.5–98.4) respectively. The overall surgical site infection (SSI) rate was 5.6%. Photograph methods had lower sensitivity and specificity at 63.9% (95% CI 30.4–87.8) and 92.6% (95% CI, 89.9–94.5). Telemedicine is highly specific for SSI diagnosis is highly specific, giving rise to great potential for utilisation excluding SSI.

Disclaimer: Articles listed in the Public Health Genomics and Precision Health Knowledge Base are selected by the CDC Office of Public Health Genomics to provide current awareness of the literature and news. Inclusion in the update does not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor does it imply endorsement of the article's methods or findings. CDC and DHHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or DHHS. Opinion, findings and conclusions expressed by the original authors of items included in the update, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or DHHS. References to publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS.