Children (Basel). 2021 Mar 28;8(4):260. doi: 10.3390/children8040260.
Telemedicine is the remote practice of medicine through the use of information and communication technologies for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases. In this narrative review, we illustrate how telemedicine technologies are increasingly integrated into pediatric infectious disease programs with the aim of facilitating access to specialist care and reducing costs. There is widespread use of telemedicine for the management of acute and chronic infectious diseases, particularly in countries in which the majority of the population lives in rural areas, far from third-level hospital centers located in large urban centers. Obviously, telemedicine is also used in developed countries, and its importance has been further increased recently given the COVID-19 pandemic. It has many advantages for patients, such as saving time, money and working hours, and reducing cancelled appointments and delays, while there are also many advantages for doctors, allowing collaborations with specialists and continuous updating. Among the disadvantages are the limitation in carrying out an objective examination, which is particularly important for children under 2 years of age, and the need for cutting-edge technology and reliable connectivity. Telemedicine increasingly represents the future and the beginning of a new healthcare system that also will redefine medical care for the treatment of infectious diseases, both acute and chronic. However, the majority of the experience has involved adults, and its validation in pediatric care, as well as its application in real-life practices, are urgently needed.