Awareness and Attitude of Primary Healthcare Patients towards Telehealth
in Cairo, Egypt
Background: Telehealth is delivering health care services remote from
healthcare facilities using telecommunications and virtual technology.
Egypt is aiming to reach Universal Health Coverage; this increases the
demand of telehealth in routine health services. Telehealth benefits are
increasing access to expertise in difficultly reached geographical areas
with no available medical teams and may be used as fast first aid. It
could also minimize costs of hospitals, as patients can be monitored
remotely even from home. As for barriers, especially in developing
countries, are the unavailable infrastructure and the resistance of
patients. Objective: To measure the awareness of telehealth among
attendees of primary health care units and their acceptance of
application of telehealth. Methodology: This was a cross sectional study
among attendees of primary health units. A sample size was calculated to
be 162. A valid Arabic interview questionnaire was designed, and 170
questionnaires were filled by attendees. Ethical issues were considered.
Results: Awareness percentage of telehealth among attendees was 64.7%
while willingness to implement telehealth was 78%. Both awareness and
willingness were significantly associated with age groups, residence,
socioeconomic status and presence of computer with net access.
Conclusion: It is concluded that a large percentage of attendees to
primary health care centers are aware of telehealth and are willing to
implement it. The major cause of refusal to implement telehealth was due
ignorance of using telecommunication devices and the desire to be in
close contact with the physicians.