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Response to: ‘Telerheumatology in COVID-19 era: a study from a psoriatic arthritis cohort’ by Costa et al
  1. Latika Gupta1,
  2. Durga Prasanna Misra1,
  3. Vishwesh Agarwal2,
  4. Suma Balan3,
  5. Vikas Agarwal1
  1. 1 Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India
  2. 2 Mahatma Gandhi Mission's Medical College Kamothe, Navi Mumbai, India
  3. 3 Department of Paediatric Rheumatology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Cochin, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Vikas Agarwal, Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow 226014, India; vikasagr{at}

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Costa has raised a relevant question of switching to online platforms for maintaining continuity of medical care in patients with chronic rheumatic diseases (RDs).1 A near-total focus of healthcare systems on COVID-19, non-availability of medical consultations and medicines at some places, and delayed infusions have seriously undermined the care of chronic RDs. The unprecedented situation has heralded a felt need for a shift to virtual consulting, ranging from telephonic to instant messaging, email-based and video consultations.

In our survey, 114 of 221 (51.6%) rheumatologists in India had adopted virtual consultations in March 2020, with half of them (57) delivering patient care over WhatsApp, and 22.8% (26) and 27.1% (31) resorting to emails and video consultations.2 Merely 10% of physicians were continuing their clinics at the time of the survey. The choice of the platform might differ, with WhatsApp being more prevalent in certain countries like India and WeChat in China.3 The delivery of routine care on virtual …

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  • Handling editor Josef S Smolen

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. Reference 5 has been corrected.

  • Contributors All the authors have made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content. Final approval of the version published. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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