The global SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has been accompanied with severe socio-economic and health burdens that will ripple through history. It is now known that SARS-CoV-2 induces a cytokine storm that leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome and systemic organ damage. With no definitive nor safe therapy for COVID-19 as well as the rise of viral variants the need for an urgent treatment modality is paramount. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and their extracellular vesicles (EVs) have long been praised for their anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and tissue regenerative capabilities. MSCs and their EVs are now being studied for their possible use as a treatment modality for COVID-19. In this review we explore their capabilities and outline the evidence of their use in ALI, ARDS and COVID-19.
Part of the book: Biotechnology to Combat COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic brought never before seen changes in the use of telemedicine in healthcare. With a contagious and unfamiliar virus spreading worldwide, patients and physicians began to utilize contactless options of communication like telephone calls and video visits out of necessity. Prior to March 2020, telemedicine was in use, but on a markedly smaller and limited scale. As 2020 progressed, the use of telemedicine rapidly expanded, especially in the United States, presenting both positive aspects like safety and convenience as well as negative aspects like loss of patient physical contact/exam and concern for new socioeconomic inequities. The adaptation of greater telehealth use in primary care specifically appears to hold potential for long term sustainability and use with patients experiencing new ways to interact with the healthcare system. Going forward, addressing such challenges as payment models and quantifying patient long term outcomes are important to the viability of telemedicine. The future of telemedicine will certainly cause dynamic changes in healthcare far outlasting the pandemic, both for patient and provider.
Part of the book: Psychosocial, Educational, and Economic Impacts of COVID-19