HealthDay News — Remote auscultation of heart and lungs is an acceptable alternative to legacy measures for quarantined COVID-19 patients, according to a study published online April 20 in Sensors.
Or Haskel, from Tel-Aviv University in Israel, and colleagues conducted a prospective, cross-sectional comparative assessment of a remote physical examination device (TytoCare), used primarily for heart and lung digital auscultation. Usage patterns and user subjective appreciation were collected for physicians treating COVID-19 patients during the initial phase of the pandemic, and were analyzed and compared with legacy measures; user experience outcomes were compared using a 9-value visual analog scale, with a score of 5 marking indifference between modalities, 1 indicating major preference for standard examination, and 9 marking major preference for the TytoCare system. A total of 18 physicians executed over 250 remote physical examinations with quarantined patients; the median number of patients examined by a single physician was 17.
The researchers found that in the setting of quarantined patients, all participants tended to prefer the remote examination (median, 6), and no statistically significant difference was seen compared with the indifference value. Telemedical examination was preferred by internists over non-internists; significant differences were seen between the groups in terms of heart auscultation (median, 7 versus 2).
“Our unique and primary experience shows that usage of TytoCare system for remote physical examination provided a positive experience, as reflected by subjective satisfaction reviews of a heterogeneous, albeit small group of physicians,” the authors write.