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Implementation of telemedicine in the care of patients with aortic dissection

Telemedicine uses telephone-based or any form of digital communication for remote clinical services. It has been a field of interest for the last century, with broader implementation of telemedicine technologies during the last 25 years. The COVID-19 pandemic was an impetus for the adoption of these technologies globally across all health care services, including patient care, surgical practice, and workflow. As part of the patient engagement work in the Aortic Dissection Collaborative, this topic was identified as an important patient-centered research topic. Telemedicine has been adopted increasingly in vascular surgery; however, there is little evidence on appropriate use of these technologies pertaining to treating patients with aortic dissection or aortopathy in general. This landscape review summarizes the uses of telemedicine applications pre and post pandemic in medicine and vascular surgery, with a particular focus on uses in aortopathy. Using common resource databases, we identified articles related to the history of telemedicine, its current utilization, and application to vascular surgery and/or aortopathy. We briefly review the history of telemedicine and illustrate a range of applications in medicine before the pandemic, along with its rapid uptake globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. The enablers and barriers to using telemedicine are explored, although as a whole there is satisfaction with its integration among patients and providers. To address these, we offer recommendations to address future research as it pertains to telemedicine technologies in aortic dissection.

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