Future challenges in rheumatology – is telemedicine the solution?

Annette de Thurah, Andrea Marques, Savia de Souza, Cynthia S. Crowson, Elena Myasoedova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has become an unprecedented facilitator of rapid telehealth expansion within rheumatology. Due to demographic shifts and workforce shortages in the future, new models of rheumatology care will be expected to emerge, with a growing footprint of telehealth interventions. Telehealth is already being used to monitor patients with rheumatic diseases and initial studies show good results in terms of safety and disease progression. It is being used as a tool for appointment prioritization and triage, and there is good evidence for using telehealth in rehabilitation, patient education and self-management interventions. Electronic patient-reported outcomes (ePROs) offer a number of long-term benefits and opportunities, and a routine collection of ePROs also facilitates epidemiological research that can inform future healthcare delivery. Telehealth solutions should be developed in close collaboration with all stakeholders, and the option of a telehealth visit must not deprive patients of the possibility to make use of a conventional ‘face-to-face’ visit. Future studies should especially focus on optimal models for rheumatology healthcare delivery to patients living in remote areas who are unable to use or access computer technology, and other patient groups at risk for disparity due to technical inequity and lack of knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • health services research
  • remote care
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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