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ASN leads the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients.

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Kidney Week

Abstract: PO0084

The New Era of COVID-19: The Rise of Telehealth, Trends to Home Dialysis, and the "New Normal"

Session Information

Category: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • 000 Coronavirus (COVID-19)


  • Hurtado, Tucker Bittel, Spherix Global Insights, Exton, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Pearson-Bey, Charisse, Spherix Global Insights, Exton, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Robinson, Jennifer, Spherix Global Insights, Exton, Pennsylvania, United States

Group or Team Name

  • Spherix Advanced Analytics Group

The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to help conceptualize how patient care delivery, pharmaceutical representative interactions, conferences, and dialysis care may evolve.


Data was conducted between March 20, 2020 - March 31, 2021, providing coverage on the quickly evolving COVID-19 outbreak via online surveys. 50 nephrologists, neurologists, dermatologists, rheumatologists and gastroenterologists participated in each wave (total 250+) for 16 waves of research.


Practice operation dynamics have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to 2020, 10% of practices were offering telemedicine, now nearly all (90%) offer virtual services. This migration has not come without challenges: 36% of physicians would prefer not to do telemedicine due to issues with patient access (60%), technology (53%) and their own reluctance to conduct new patient visits virtually (44%). The pandemic has created a high burnout among nephrologists compared to other specialties and nearly 20% would reevaluate their career choice if they could go back.

Along with patient care, sales representative interactions have declined due to closed-door policies, with 51% of physicians reporting substantially lower or no engagements (virtual or in-person) compared to pre-COVID. Physicians are looking forward to resuming traditional in-person conferences, with 61% of vaccinated physicians planning to attend in-person if the option is available.

COVID-19 has also significantly impacted HD patient care, with 66% of nephrologists reporting an outbreak among HD patients and/or staff. However, despite the obvious advantages of home care during the pandemic, only 34% of nephrologists indicated they were more likely to start a patient on a home modality due to the pandemic in March 2021 – versus 30% in March 2020. Despite their hesitancy, 80% of physicians agree the use of telemedicine will continue after the COVID-19 crisis has passed and estimate that ~20% of weekly visits will be virtual.


The pandemic has changed the delivery of patient care, evolving towards a more virtual model where possible – potentially creating physician burn out and interfering with the physician-patient relationship. The focus is now on the “new normal” post-COVID and the ongoing changes that will have on physicians.