University of Oulu

Giunti G, Goossens R, De Bont A, Visser JJ, Mulder M, Schuit SCE, The Need for Sustainable Teleconsultation Systems in the Aftermath of the First COVID-19 Wave, J Med Internet Res 2020;22(10):e21211, DOI: 10.2196/21211, PMID: 32997642

The need for sustainable teleconsultation systems in the aftermath of the first COVID-19 wave

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Author: Giunti, Guido1,2; Goossens, Richard2; De Bont, Antoinette3;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2TU Delft, Delft, Netherlands
3Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
4Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: JMIR Publications, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-10-08


The physical and social distancing measures that have been adopted worldwide because of COVID-19 will probably remain in place for a long time, especially for senior adults, people with chronic conditions, and other at-risk populations. Teleconsultations can be useful in ensuring that patients continue to receive clinical care while reducing physical crowding and avoiding unnecessary exposure of health care staff. Implementation processes that typically take months of planning, budgeting, pilot testing, and education were compressed into days. However, in the urgency to deal with the present crisis, we may be forgetting that the introduction of digital health is not exclusively a technological issue, but part of a complex organizational change problem. This viewpoint offers insight regarding issues that rapidly adopted teleconsultation systems may face in a post–COVID-19 world.

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Series: Journal of medical internet research
ISSN: 1439-4456
ISSN-E: 1438-8871
ISSN-L: 1439-4456
Volume: 22
Issue: 10
Article number: e21211
DOI: 10.2196/21211
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
217 Medical engineering
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
3141 Health care science
318 Medical biotechnology
Copyright information: ©Guido Giunti, Richard Goossens, Antoinette De Bont, Jacob J Visser, Mark Mulder, Stephanie C E Schuit. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (, 05.10.2020. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.