Telemedicine and natural disasters: various services, requirements, challenges, and general framework


Providing early health care services in natural disaster is one of the essential applications of telemedicine. This narrative review aims to investigate the applications, advantages and challenges of telemedicine in natural disaster-stricken areas. Medline (through PubMed), Web of Science (WOS), and Scopus databases were searched for related articles published from beginning to 2022. The keywords used for the search included "telemedicine" and "natural disaster." After removing duplicate papers, irrelevant review articles and letters to editors, 44 relevant papers were selected and reviewed. Information sharing through audio, visual, and data-oriented services is among critical approaches that telemedicine services mainly use. Teleconsultation, tele-education, remote interpretation, tele-psychiatry, and tele-surgery are among measures that can be implemented in emergencies like earthquakes, fires, floods, storms, and drought. The fundamental requirements of a telemedicine-oriented system for providing emergency services in natural disasters include wireless scales, conversation tools, blood pressure monitor, respiratory rate monitor, spo2 sensor, glucometer, portable ultrasound unit, wearable thermometers, virtual stethoscopes, portable three leads electrocardiograph monitor, and digital otoscopes. Simple telemedicine systems can have many advantages in the natural disasters. However, the main challenge in this regard is to adapt the necessary communication systems to a telemedicine paradigm. Another critical challenge is to interpret and apply the summary of acquired information and the inevitable interaction outcomes at the required time and place.

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IssueVol 6 No 4 (2022): Autumn (October) QRcode
SectionReview article
DOI 10.18502/fem.v6i4.10440
Communication Natural Disasters Information Technology Telemedicine

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How to Cite
Mohammadzadeh N, Saeedi S, Rezayi S. Telemedicine and natural disasters: various services, requirements, challenges, and general framework. Front Emerg Med. 2022;6(4):e53.


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