연구 & 소식

Evaluation of a Telehealth Counseling Program for Expatriates

  • Journal

    Telemed J E Health

  • Authors

    Hwa Yeon Park, Ju Young Kim, Hye Yeon Koo, Jinah Han, Ji Hye Jun, Wonjae Lee, Ki Young Na, Hyang Yuol Lee, Yuliya Pak, Seunghee Jang, Sergey Kim, Chulkyu Jeong, Taewook Nam

  • Published

    6 September 2018

Background:Health problems for expatriates are common due to their vulnerability to local infectious diseases, psychosocial problems, and chronic diseases, but many problems go largely unmet in this unique population.Introduction:Telehealth counseling was developed and tested for Korean expatriates. We explored the current status of using telehealth counseling systems and showed its feasibility and acceptability in three countries.Materials and Methods:This retrospective study was based on the "Development and demonstration of telehealth counseling program for overseas Koreans" project funded by the Korea Health Industry Development Institute. In this project, we established five Digital Healthcare Centers (DHCs): 3 in Vietnam and 1 each in Uzbekistan and Cambodia. We used data from October 2016 to September 2017; descriptive analysis and one-way ANOVA were used to present detailed information.Results:A total of 442 patients made an appointment for telehealth counseling services. Overall user satisfaction rates were 96.1%. Over two thirds of patients (302/442, 68.3%) completed one-time telehealth counseling. About 13% were referred to primary care, and 17 (3.8%) were referred to specialists or tertiary hospital. The most common diagnostic category was endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases (14%), followed by diseases of the circulatory system (12.3%) for one-time visit patients.Discussion:Our telehealth counseling program for expatriates was feasible and acceptable in three countries. It also has the potential to minimize language barriers and the cost of healthcare usage.Conclusion:Further research for sustainable effective telehealth systems for expatriates will be needed.