Background and objective: Telemedicine or telehealth services has been increasingly practiced in the recent years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine turned into and indispensable ser-vice in order to avoid contagion between healthcare professionals and patients, involving a growing number of medical disciplines. Nevertheless, at present, several ethical and legal issues related to the practice of these services still remain unsolved and need adequate regulation. This narrative review will give a synthesis of the main ethical and legal issues of telemedicine practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Material and Methods: A literature search was performed on PubMed using MeSH terms: Telemedicine (which includes Mobile Health or Health, Mobile, mHealth, Telehealth, and eHealth), Ethics, Legislation/Jurisprudence, and COVID-19. These terms were combined into a search string to better identify relevant articles published in the English language from March 2019 to September 2021. Results: Overall, 24 out of the initial 85 articles were considered eligible for this review. Legal and ethical issues concerned important aspects such as: informed consent (information about the risks and benefits of remote therapy) and autonomy (87%), patient privacy (78%) and confidentiality (57%), data protection and security (74%), malpractice and professional liability/integrity (70%), equity of access (30%), quality of care (30%), the professional–patient relationship (22%), and the principle of beneficence or being disposed to act for the benefit of others (13%). Conclusions: The ethical and legal issues related to the practice of telehealth or telemedicine services still need standard and specific rules of application in order to guarantee equitable access, quality of care, sustainable costs, professional liability, respect of patient privacy, data protection, and confidentiality. At present, telemedicine services could be only used as complementary or supplementary tools to the traditional healthcare services. Some indications for medical providers are suggested.

Ethical and legal challenges of telemedicine in the era of the covid-19 pandemic / Solimini, R.; Busardo, F. P.; Gibelli, F.; Sirignano, A.; Ricci, G.. - In: MEDICINA. - ISSN 1010-660X. - 57:12(2021), p. 1314. [10.3390/medicina57121314]

Ethical and legal challenges of telemedicine in the era of the covid-19 pandemic

Busardo F. P.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Background and objective: Telemedicine or telehealth services has been increasingly practiced in the recent years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine turned into and indispensable ser-vice in order to avoid contagion between healthcare professionals and patients, involving a growing number of medical disciplines. Nevertheless, at present, several ethical and legal issues related to the practice of these services still remain unsolved and need adequate regulation. This narrative review will give a synthesis of the main ethical and legal issues of telemedicine practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Material and Methods: A literature search was performed on PubMed using MeSH terms: Telemedicine (which includes Mobile Health or Health, Mobile, mHealth, Telehealth, and eHealth), Ethics, Legislation/Jurisprudence, and COVID-19. These terms were combined into a search string to better identify relevant articles published in the English language from March 2019 to September 2021. Results: Overall, 24 out of the initial 85 articles were considered eligible for this review. Legal and ethical issues concerned important aspects such as: informed consent (information about the risks and benefits of remote therapy) and autonomy (87%), patient privacy (78%) and confidentiality (57%), data protection and security (74%), malpractice and professional liability/integrity (70%), equity of access (30%), quality of care (30%), the professional–patient relationship (22%), and the principle of beneficence or being disposed to act for the benefit of others (13%). Conclusions: The ethical and legal issues related to the practice of telehealth or telemedicine services still need standard and specific rules of application in order to guarantee equitable access, quality of care, sustainable costs, professional liability, respect of patient privacy, data protection, and confidentiality. At present, telemedicine services could be only used as complementary or supplementary tools to the traditional healthcare services. Some indications for medical providers are suggested.
2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/297594
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