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Reading: A review of Telehealth practices in Sri Lanka in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

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A review of Telehealth practices in Sri Lanka in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Authors:

Gumindu Garuka Kulatunga ,

Ministry of Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine, LK
About Gumindu
Medical doctor with experience and knowledge in health informatics, public health, medical education, research and clinical medicine backed by basic medical degree and postgraduate degree courses, is planning to continue the professional career in the field of Health Informatics and Medical Education. My special interests are on Telehealth/Telemedicine and Web-based Professional Development.
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Roshan Hewapathirana,

University of Colombo Sri Lanka, LK
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Rohana Basil Marasinghe,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
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Vajira H. W. Dissanayake

University of Colombo, LK
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Abstract

Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has made healthcare staff work with physical distancing; hence Telemedicine/Telehealth is receiving renewed attention. Although Telemedicine/Telehealth is one of the major components of healthcare in most developed countries, Sri Lanka is yet to harness its full potential. The digital health ecosystem is made up of multiple interconnected solutions aimed at achieving the common goal of healthcare delivery. In the current situation, Telehealth, Telemedicine, and Internet-based Prescriptions are major components of the ecosystem. Internet-based prescriptions, which is one of the widely used Telemedicine practices, became legalised at the beginning of this century in the Western world with the incorporation of appropriate Telemedicine guidelines. Many Telemedicine solutions have emerged in Sri Lanka over the past decade including video conferencing, audio consultations, teleprescriptions and prescriptions sent by Short Message Service. These have been developed in an ad hoc manner. Therefore, the medical community, as well as the general public, must understand how Telemedicine and internet-based prescribing enable the delivery of healthcare services in the local context. In this paper, we review the current status of Telehealth services in Sri Lanka and discuss the need for regulations to ensure maximum benefit from these services.
How to Cite: Kulatunga, G.G., Hewapathirana, R., Marasinghe, R.B. and Dissanayake, V.H.W., 2020. A review of Telehealth practices in Sri Lanka in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sri Lanka Journal of Bio-Medical Informatics, 11(1), pp.8–19. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljbmi.v11i1.8090
Published on 20 Oct 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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