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International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 504015, 4 pages
Research Article

Impact of a Virtual Clinic in a Paediatric Cardiology Network on Northeast Brazil

1Círculo do Coração, Avenida Portugal No. 163, Segundo Andar-Paissandu, 52010-010 Recife, PE, Brazil
2Célula C., Avenida Portugal No. 163, Segundo Andar-Paissandu, 52010-010 Recife, PE, Brazil

Received 15 June 2015; Revised 29 June 2015; Accepted 2 July 2015

Academic Editor: Christian Zugck

Copyright © 2015 Juliana Sousa Soares de Araújo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Congenital heart diseases (CHD) affect approximately 1% of live births and is an important cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Despite that, there is a shortage of paediatric cardiologists in Brazil, mainly in the northern and northeastern regions. In this context, the implementation of virtual outpatient clinics with the aid of different telemedicine resources may help in the care of children with heart defects. Methods. Patients under 18 years of age treated in virtual outpatient clinics between January 2013 and May 2014 were selected. They were divided into 2 groups: those who had and those who had not undergone a screening process for CHD in the neonatal period. Clinical and demographic characteristics were collected for further statistical analysis. Results. A total of 653 children and teenagers were treated in the virtual outpatient clinics. From these, 229 had undergone a neonatal screening process. Fewer abnormalities were observed on the physical examination of the screened patients. Conclusion. The implementation of pediatric cardiology virtual outpatient clinics can have a positive impact in the care provided to people in areas with lack of skilled professionals.