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Front. Public Health
Sec. Digital Public Health
Volume 12 - 2024 | doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2024.1370555

Applications to Augment Patient Care for Internal Medicine Specialists: A Position Paper from the EFIM Working Group on Telemedicine, Innovative Technologies & Digital Health

Provisionally accepted
Filomena Pietrantonio Filomena Pietrantonio 1*Michael M. Florczak Michael M. Florczak 2Sebastian Kuhn Sebastian Kuhn 3Kati Karberg Kati Karberg 4Tiffany Leung Tiffany Leung 5,6Ismael Said Criado Ismael Said Criado 7Sebastian Sikorski Sebastian Sikorski 8Matteo Ruggeri Matteo Ruggeri 9alessandro Signorini alessandro Signorini 10Francesco Rosiello Francesco Rosiello 11Carlo Drago Carlo Drago 12Antonio Vinci Antonio Vinci 13Vasco Barreto Vasco Barreto 14Nicola Montano Nicola Montano 15Dror Dicker Dror Dicker 16Ricardo Gómez-Huelgas Ricardo Gómez-Huelgas 17
  • 1 Ospedale dei Castelli, Asl Roma 6, Ariccia, Italy
  • 2 Enel-Med Medical Centre, Warsaw, Poland
  • 3 University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany
  • 4 University of Tartu, Tartu, Tartu County, Estonia
  • 5 Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands
  • 6 Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, United States
  • 7 Alvaro Cunqueiro Hospital, Pontevedra, Spain
  • 8 Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw, Masovian, Poland
  • 9 Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), Rome, Lazio, Italy
  • 10 Saint Camillus International University of Health and Medical Sciences, Rome, Lazio, Italy
  • 11 Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Lazio, Italy
  • 12 University Niccolò Cusano, Rome, Lazio, Italy
  • 13 Azienda Sanitaria Locale Roma 1, Rome, Lazio, Italy
  • 14 Hospital Pedro Hispano, Matosinhos, Portugal
  • 15 University of Milan, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
  • 16 Lev Hasharon Hospital, Netanya, Israel
  • 17 Regional University Hospital of Malaga, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain

The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon.

    Telemedicine applications present virtually limitless prospects for innovating and enhancing established and new models of patient care in the field of Internal Medicine. Although there is a wide range of innovative technological solutions in Europe, there are overarching elements associated with such technologies when applied to the practices of Internal Medicine specialists. The European Federation of Internal Medicine (EFIM) strongly advocates for active leadership and influence from the Internal Medicine societies and specialist physicians across Europe in the development and application of telemedicine and digital technologies in healthcare. This position paper conclusions were drawn via Delphi method, which was developed collaboratively from July 2021 to December 2023. The panel, consisting of experts in clinical medicine, public health, health economics, and statistics, assessed various aspects related to telemedicine. Participants assigned scores on a Likert scale reflecting perceived value and potential risks. The findings were consolidated in a comprehensive checklist aligning with relevant literature and a SWOT analysis. Specifically, key issues that need to be addressed include promoting the professional development of e-health competencies in the healthcare and medical workforce; using educational campaigns to promote digital literacy among patients and caregivers; designing and implementing telemedicine applications tailored to local conditions and needs, and considering the ethical and legal contexts under which these applications are employed. Importantly, there is currently no consensus on care models or standardized protocols among European Internal Medicine specialists regarding the utilization of telemedicine. This position paper aims to outline the opportunities and challenges associated with the application of telemedicine in Internal Medical practice in Europe.

    Keywords: e-health, Digital medicine, Internal Medicine, Tele Health, Digital Health

    Received: 14 Jan 2024; Accepted: 24 May 2024.

    Copyright: © 2024 Pietrantonio, Florczak, Kuhn, Karberg, Leung, Said Criado, Sikorski, Ruggeri, Signorini, Rosiello, Drago, Vinci, Barreto, Montano, Dicker and Gómez-Huelgas. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

    * Correspondence: Filomena Pietrantonio, Ospedale dei Castelli, Asl Roma 6, Ariccia, Italy

    Disclaimer: All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.