Systematic Reviews
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2022. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Methodol. Jul 20, 2022; 12(4): 285-292
Published online Jul 20, 2022. doi: 10.5662/wjm.v12.i4.285
Telehealth has comparable outcomes to in-person diabetic foot care during the COVID-19 pandemic
Nikolaos Kamaratos-Sevdalis, Alexandros Kamaratos, Marios Papadakis, Christos Tsagkaris
Nikolaos Kamaratos-Sevdalis, Alexandros Kamaratos, Christos Tsagkaris, Diabetic Foot Clinic, Diabetes Center and 1st Department of Internal Medicine, Tzaneio General Hospital of Piraeus, Piraeus 18536, Greece
Marios Papadakis, Surgery II, University of Witten-Herdecke, Wuppertal 42283, Germany
Author contributions: Kamaratos-Sevdalis N co-performed literature search, performed the majority of the writing, and prepared the figures and tables; Kamaratos A and Papadakis M provided input in searching the literature and writing the paper; and Tsagkaris C designed the outline, co-performed literature search and coordinated the writing of the paper.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All authors report no relevant conflicts of interest for this article.
PRISMA 2009 Checklist statement: The authors have read the PRISMA 2009 Checklist, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the PRISMA 2009 Checklist.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Marios Papadakis, MD, MSc, PhD, Consultant Physician-Scientist, Doctor, Research Scientist, Surgery II, University of Witten-Herdecke, Heusnerstrasse 40, Wuppertal 42283, Germany.
Received: February 9, 2022
Peer-review started: February 9, 2022
First decision: April 12, 2022
Revised: May 19, 2022
Accepted: July 11, 2022
Article in press: July 11, 2022
Published online: July 20, 2022
Research background

Diabetic foot (DF) care requires frequent visualization, measurement and assessment of the wound by a specialist in addition to diverse treatment modalities. Therefore, limited healthcare access directly affects the care of these individuals.

Research motivation

There is limited evidence focusing specifically on DF care during the pandemic.

Research objectives

To summarize the existing research focusing on digital health and remote care for DF, its precipitating factors and sequelae and identify relevant research gaps and fields of action.

Research methods

The authors searched studies published in PubMed-Medline and Cochrane Library-Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from September 27 until October 31, 2021. The search terms: (“Digital health” OR “Remote Healthcare” OR “Telemedicine”) AND (“Diabetic Foot”[MeSH] OR “Diabetic Angiopathies”[MeSH] OR “Foot Ulcer [MeSH]” OR "Diabetic Neuropathies"[MeSH]) AND "COVID-19"[MeSH] were used.

Research results

Remote diabetic foot ulcer care appears to be comparable to standard therapy in terms of outcomes, i.e., healing time and amputation rates.

Research conclusions

The authors believe the conditions of the pandemic will inevitably contribute to the rapid development of the means of this method, either in the form of new software or patient and physician digital education and familiarization.

Research perspectives

These findings need to be validated with larger and long – term studies.