Isico launches Telemedicine: home treatment and care for the duration of the coronavirus emergency

Dear Patients and Families,

The most difficult periods we face in life are the ones when we most need to be courageous and decisive, and look to the future.

We are living through a dramatic time, in which the health of every single one of us must take priority over every other consideration. And at a time like this, we, as a clinical institute, are acutely aware of our mission as doctors, therapists and specialists: a whole team working to support you, our patients. Because you have shown faith in us, by putting your health in our hands.

Over recent weeks, we have tried to keep all our outpatient clinics running, always in full compliance with the different regulations that have, progressively, been issued. Many of our patients in this period have had to go without examinations and treatments. 

Scoliosis, however, is a condition that goes on evolving all the time. Therefore, even in the midst of the present coronavirus emergency, it is crucial to ensure that treatments are not interrupted.

With the dual aim of guaranteeing our patients continuity of care while at the same time taking steps to drastically decrease the risk of infection, on Monday 16 March, we introduced a radically new way of operating. This has been done in order to limit the movements of our staff members, to limit the clinical activities performed in our dozens of centres throughout Italy, and thus to reduce, as far as possible, the risk of the virus being spread during examinations and treatments. However, for us, limiting does not mean not being there for our patients: we are still providing examinations, prescriptions and treatments, but we are adapting our activity to the rigorous restrictions imposed by our country. In recent days we have been working harder than ever, racing to find new approaches and solutions, in order to continue repaying your faith in us.

Isico is now ready to activate a new method for providing examinations and treatments, in all situations in which this is feasible. This approach, called Telemedicine, is a hugely important opportunity for patients. The patients we see are ones whose condition requires or can require

 a long and difficult course of treatment, and this is a way of preventing their hard work and sacrifices from going to waste. This new approach also reflects our determination to do all we can to reduce the burden on our National Health System, which is wrestling with the emergency, and also to do our bit for our country and for the many families facing unexpected economic hardship (we will be offering examinations and treatments at reduced rates). Obviously, these services will remain unchanged in terms of duration, timing and quality.

As one of our physiotherapists, Marta Tavernaro, wrote on the Facebook page aimed at our scoliosis patients: “I am not worried about this approach. We therapists already use it to follow young patients abroad, and for some time now our doctors have been studying an approach that might allow us to reach youngsters the world over. However, this emergency has hit everyone with catastrophic speed, and we have had to work day and night to come up with an adequate solution. Personally, in my 30-year career as a physiotherapist I have never experienced as many emotions, or had so many thoughts running round in my head as I have in recent days. Never before have I found it so hard to advise those who called me asking for advice, in this case on what they should do about their planned examinations and treatments. Now, however, with Isico Telemedicine, we have found the solution. And the fact that we have managed to do this is, believe me, yet another Isico miracle! At last, I have some peace of mind: in addition to being able, as a private citizen, to play my part in tackling this dreadful situation, I am now confident, as a professional, that I can go on giving our young patients the support they need without exposing them to the slightest risk”. 

Should we have been looking for further confirmation of the value of our approach, in recent days the New England Journal of Medicine published an editorial entitled Virtually Perfect? Telemedicine for Covid-19which remarks that”disasters and pandemics pose unique challenges to health care delivery. Though telehealth will not solve them all, it’s well suited for scenarios in which infrastructure remains intact and clinicians are available to see patients”.

Isico has equipped itself to be, until the emergency ends, a digital institute.

Together we can get through this difficult time.

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