The Lancet: Mobile Health School Screening and Telemedicine Referral to Improve Access To Specialty Care In Rural Alaska: A Cluster- Randomized Controlled Trial
A study by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences found that referring children to specialists via telemedicine provides significantly quicker access to follow-up care than referring them to primary care providers. The study found that 70 percent of children received follow-up care through a telehealth referral pathway, compared to 30 percent of children in a standard pathway. Additionally, children in the telemedicine specialty referral pathway received follow-up care 17.6 percent faster than those in the standard primary care referral pathway. The randomized controlled trial, conducted in rural Alaskan communities from 2017-2020, provides implications for rural areas for improving access to specialists for other preventable health conditions. For additional coverage, see a press release for the study here.