• COVID-19

    Study Finds High Degree of Diagnostic Accuracy for Telemedicine Visits

Mayo Clinic researchers say their findings, published in JAMA Network Open, show video telemedicine visits yield a high degree of diagnostic concordance with in-person visits for most new clinical concerns. 

During the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine visits at Mayo Clinic increased by 10,880%. Researchers conducted a medical record review of nearly 2,400 Mayo Clinic patients living in the U.S. without age restriction, between March 24 and June 24, 2020. The patients underwent a video telemedicine consult followed by an in-person outpatient visit for the same clinical problem in the same specialty within a 90-day window. The provisional diagnosis made during the video telemedicine visit was compared with the in-person reference standard diagnosis by two blinded, independent medical reviewers. The provisional diagnosis established over a video telemedicine visit matched the in-person reference standard diagnosis in 86.9% of cases. 

The investigators say, before the COVID-19 pandemic, research on the accuracy of video telemedicine diagnosis was limited by sample size, types of diseases and clinical problems, and real-world implementation.  

The researchers say their findings could help physicians make evidence-based decisions regarding which patients, in which clinical specialties and for which types of clinical problems are likely to be most appropriate for telemedicine diagnosis.  

The research was funded by Mayo Clinic. A full list of authors and affiliations can be found in the research article. 

— Gerri Kelly