The use of virtual health care as an option for lymphoedema services
The term ‘virtual health care’ means using communications technology (such as that provided by www.careinnovations.com), so that ‘virtual visits’ can take place between patients and clinicians via video and audio. This enables ‘virtual’ meetings to occur in real time, from any location. This article considers the concept of virtual health care and its potential application for those involved in the care of people with lower limb problems. Drawing on examples of recent experiences from lymphoedema and wound clinics, potential benefits and challenges are highlighted. Learning from the recent necessity to adopt virtual health care very quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic, some broad guidance is suggested for practitioners considering its long-term use.
The NHS is constantly required to adapt and change and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated changes. In lower-limb conditions there has been an emphasis on patients self-caring by managing lower-limb wound dressings and compression systems and there has been a need to deliver health interventions in a different way. Many resources supporting self-care have been developed for patients, almost all of which have been on online platforms.
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