Contactless: a new personalised telehealth model in chronic pediatric diseases and disability during the COVID-19 era
Italian Journal of Pediatrics
Background Suspending ordinary care activities during the COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary to find alternative routes to comply with care recommendations not only for acute health needs but also for patients requiring follow-up and multidisciplinary visits. We present the 'Contactless' model, a comprehensive operational tool including a plurality of services delivered remotely, structured according to a complexity gradient, aimed to cover diagnostic procedures and monitor disease progression
... in chronic pediatric patients. Methods A multidisciplinary and multiprofessional project team was recruited, in collaboration with patients' associations, to map a panel of available Evidence-Based solutions and address individual needs in full respect of the concept of personalized medicine. The solutions include a number of services from videoconsultations to more structure videotraining sessions. Results A modular framework made up of four three Macro-levels of complexity - Contactless Basic, Intermediate and Advanced - was displayed as an incremental set of services and operational planning establishing each phase, from factors influencing eligibility to the delivery of the most accurate and complex levels of care. Conclusion The multimodal, multidisciplinary 'Contactless' model allowed the inclusion of all Units of our Pediatric Department and families with children with disability or complex chronic conditions. The strengths of this project rely on its replicability outside of pediatrics and in the limited resources needed to practically impact patients, caregivers and professionals involved in the process of care. Its implementation in the future may contribute to reduce the duration of hospital admissions, money and parental absence from work.