Telemedicine as technoinnovation to tackle COVID-19: A bibliometric analysis

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Telemedicine has become fundamental for the challenges posed to healthcare. This set of instruments turns pivotal for facing one of the most relevant emergencies in human history: the COVID-19 pandemic. The multisectoral crisis led to a vigorously sustained adoption of innovations, including telemedicine technology. Telehealth was proven, in this context, to be a relevant tool to reduce healthcare costs, reduce not-needed hospitalizations, and improve the results in health care. Some barriers such as the costs of technologies, patient privacy and technical literacy have slowed down telemedicine adoption. Amidst the COVID-19 era, telemedicine calls for a managerial duty to change healthcare's organizational models. The present work aims to explore the growing literature to illuminate the relationships between telemedicine, innovations and healthcare in the COVID-19 framework. A bibliometric analysis of the existing literature based on 285 published works in 2019–2020 is put forward with the aim to detect the relevant literature, themes and approaches on telemedicine and COVID-19. Making use of community detection on the co-occurrence keywords network, we identify the “semantic cores” in the literature representing the relevant results on critical themes. The sorting implications are important for researchers and policymakers by mapping the existing literature and results in evidence-based analysis. We provide the key communities as the “semantic core” of the publications and results for the considered period. This allows for future research to be oriented towards perduring health policies that could lead to the adoption of telemedicine technologies in a post-pandemic scenario.

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