On March 9, 2022, the Editorial Office had the honor to interview Prof. Stefano Omboni, Editor-in-Chief of Connected Health (CH), from the Italian Institute of Telemedicine.
This interview is initiated on a Review Article from our journal--The worldwide impact of telemedicine during COVID-19: current evidence and recommendations for the future. This paper mainly focuses on the worldwide impact of telemedicine during COVID-19, and makes very useful suggestions on how to realize the large-scale implementation of telemedicine in the future. First, the authors describe the current contribution of telemedicine to the world, including improving the surveillance of patients, curbing the spread of disease, facilitating timely identification and management of ill people, and guaranteeing the continuity of care of frail patients with multiple chronic diseases. However, the large-scale implementation of telemedicine in the healthcare system presents significant challenges. In this article, the author address major issues to enable large scale implementation of telemedicine, including: (1) establishing adequate policies to legislate telemedicine, license healthcare operators, protect patients’ privacy, and implement reimbursement plans; (2) creating and disseminating practical guidelines for the routine clinical use of telemedicine in different contexts; (3) increasing the integration level of telemedicine with traditional healthcare services; (4) improving healthcare professionals’ and patients’ awareness of and willingness to use telemedicine; and (5) overcoming inequalities among countries and population subgroups due to technological, infrastructural, and economic barriers. If all these requirements are met in the near future, remote management of patients will become an indispensable resource for the healthcare systems worldwide and will ultimately improve the management of patients and the quality of care.
Here are some questions for this interview:
Q1: We know that you attended the first Cardiometabolic and Diabetes Africa Congress on February 23, in which experts in hypertension and cardiovascular from various countries were gathered. What is the current status of telemedicine in the treatment of hypertension in developing and low-income countries? What can we do to change the current state?
Q2：In an interview, we saw that you are fascinated by the Internet-of-Medical-Things and its potential for remote monitoring of high-risk patients such as cardiac arrhythmias, coronary heart disease, arterial hypertension. Could you please share how you are progressing in this area now? What good news can we expect?
Q3: Could you please share with us what motivated you to be the Editor-in-Chief of Connected Health? In order to appeal to outstanding scholars to join our journal, as the Editor-in-Chief of Connected Health, please talk about the advantages and vision of Connected Health, and do you have any suggestions for our potential authors?
Q4: On January 4, 2022, “The worldwide impact of telemedicine during COVID-19: current evidence and recommendations for the future” was successfully published in Connected Health. This article was jointly produced by 21 Editorial Board Members from 13 countries, which is of great significance for a new journal. As we all know, this article has gathered a lot of hard work from everyone. How did you come up with the idea of doing such an article in the first place? What significant implications do you think the publication of this article will bring to the field of "telemedicine"?
Q5: During COVID-19, what could the doctors in Italy conduct to maximize the use of telemedicine? (combined with the paper)
Biography of the interviewee
Prof. Stefano Omboni graduated with distinction in medicine at the University of Milan in 1988 and later specialized in cardiology at the same University in 1992. He is an expert in the areas of blood pressure monitoring, telemonitoring, arterial hypertension, cardiovascular disease and telemedicine. His expertise also extends to clinical physiology and pharmacology. Prof. Stefano Omboni is currently Director of the Italian Institute of Telemedicine, a research center located nearby Varese (Italy), which is dedicated to the research and development of new telemedicine solutions for the prevention and management of chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, heart failure, and for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. The center is also involved in technical and clinical studies based on blood pressure monitoring techniques and various diagnostic tools and in the management of clinical and pharmacological trials in different medical specialties. Prof. Stefano Omboni is a member of the Guideline Writing Committee and the Working Group of Blood Pressure Monitoring and Cardiovascular Variability of the Italian and European Society of Hypertension, and member of the Italian, European and International Society of Hypertension, of the Italian and European Society of Cardiology, and of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth. He is a fellow of the European Society of Cardiology and of the International Society of Hypertension and a member of the College of Experts of the International Society of Hypertension. Prof. Stefano Omboni has co-authored hundreds of scientific publications and has given lectures in several scientific meetings.
CH will continue to publish more special interview series. We look forward to building a multi-channel exchange and display platform for all scholars who publish papers with us.
Respectfully Submitted by the Journal Editorial Office