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Remote assessment in sport and exercise medicine (SEM): a narrative review and teleSEM solutions for and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic
  1. H Paul Dijkstra1,2,
  2. Emin Ergen3,
  3. Louis Holtzhausen3,4,
  4. Ian Beasley3,5,
  5. Juan Manuel Alonso3,
  6. Liesel Geertsema3,
  7. Celeste Geertsema3,
  8. Sofie Nelis1,
  9. Aston Seng Huey Ngai3,
  10. Ivan Stankovic1,
  11. Stephen Targett3,
  12. Thor Einar Andersen3,6
  1. 1 Department of Medical Education, Aspetar Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
  2. 2 Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  3. 3 Sports Medicine Department, Aspetar Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
  4. 4 Section Sports Medicine, University of Pretoria Faculty of Health Sciences, Pretoria, South Africa
  5. 5 The Royal Ballet, London, UK
  6. 6 Department of Sports Medicine, Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr H Paul Dijkstra, Department of Medical Education, Aspetar Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar; Paul.Dijkstra{at}


Background The COVID-19 pandemic forces sport and exercise medicine (SEM) physicians to think differently about the clinical care of patients. Many rapidly implement eHealth and telemedicine solutions specific to SEM without guidance on how best to provide these services.

Aim The aim of this paper is to present some guiding principles on how to plan for and perform an SEM consultation remotely (teleSEM) based on a narrative review of the literature. A secondary aim is to develop a generic teleSEM injury template.

Results eHealth and telemedicine are essential solutions to effective remote patient care, also in SEM. This paper provides guidance for wise planning and delivery of teleSEM. It is crucial for SEM physicians, technology providers and organisations to codesign teleSEM services, ideally involving athletes, coaches and other clinicians involved in the clinical care of athletes, and to gradually implement these services with appropriate support and education.

Conclusion teleSEM provides solutions for remote athlete clinical care during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. We define two new terms—eSEM and teleSEM and discuss guiding principles on how to plan for and perform SEM consultations remotely (teleSEM). We provide an example of a generic teleSEM injury assessment guide.

  • sports and exercise medicine
  • injury
  • illness
  • sports physician
  • evidence based review

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

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  • Twitter @DrPaulDijkstra, @Louidoc, @DrJuanMAlonso, @draston, @drstevetargett, @DocThorAndersen

  • Contributors HPD and TEA substantially contributed to the conception and design, drafting, revising and implementing the final revision of the manuscript. All authors contributed to writing and editing this manuscript and the final approval of the version published.

  • 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 consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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