Assessment of physician’s knowledge, perception and willingness of telemedicine in Riyadh region, Saudi Arabia

مقال فى مجلة
رابط النشر على الانترنت
اسم الناشر
ملخص المنشورات

Introduction: Telemedicine is the utilization of computer applications and telecommunication technologies to deliver clinical services remotely. The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia, recently established an
e-Health strategy that includes the use of telemedicine in order to improve the accessibility and quality
of care among patients and healthcare providers.
Objectives: The present study aimed to assess the knowledge and perception of telemedicine and its
applications among physicians. Secondly, to evaluate their willingness towards adopting telemedicine
in clinical practice.
Methods: The study is a cross sectional conducted in four hospitals; King Abdulaziz Medical City, King
Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, King Saud Medical City and King Saud University Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The survey questionnaire was a self-administered, which was adopted
from previous studies. The questionnaire consists of; access to a computer and its literacy, knowledge,
perceptions and willingness of telemedicine.
Results: A total of 391 physicians of which male (301; 77.0%) and female (90; 23.0%) completed the
questionnaire. Half of the participants never used personal computers or laptops at home. Interestingly,
89.2% of them have two or more smart devices. Participants have average knowledge about telemedicine
technology (46.1%). Nearly, 77% of the professionals believed that continuous training is necessary for
the use of telemedicine (P = 0.01). The highest level of perception was (90%) for telemedicine as a viable
approach for providing medical care services to patients. More than 90% of specialties professional agreed
that telemedicine can save time, money and further believed information and communication technology (ICT) has a potential role in healthcare. Overall, 70% of physicians reported a very low number of
conferences, speeches or meetings held regarding telemedicine technology in their working places. Main
issues reported in adopting telemedicine are patient privacy, the high cost of equipment, lack of suitable
training, and lack of consultation between information technology expert and clinicians.
Conclusions: Despite the fact that the majority of professionals have two or more smart devices and are
communicating with patients via email or social media. However, the majority of medical professionals
stillhave low knowledge oftelemedicine technology.Inaddition,most oftheparticipants showedpositive
perceptions of telemedicine and are willing to adopt it in clinical practice. The major reported barriers for
the adoption of telemedicine were privacy issues, lack of training, cost and issues related to information
and communication technology.