Connecting the World of Healthcare Virtually: A Scoping Review on Virtual Care Delivery




Li, Cindy (Zhirui)
Borycki, Elizabeth
Kushniruk, Andre

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Virtual care extends beyond the walls of healthcare organizations to provide care at a distance. Although virtual care cannot be regarded as a solution for all health-related inquiries, it provides another care delivery channel for specific patient populations with appointments that do not require in-person physical examinations or procedures. A scoping review was conducted to define the meaning of virtual care, understand how virtual care has influenced the healthcare industry and is being expanded to complement the existing healthcare system, and describe the outcomes of using virtual care for patients and providers. Findings from the scoping review suggest that virtual care encompasses the provision of care using advanced video conferencing technology to support remote care that takes place between patients and providers and the use of virtual reality technology to simulate care environments. Some of virtual care’s use in healthcare includes application to pain and anxiety management, virtual consultations and follow-up visits, rehabilitation and therapy services, outpatient clinics, and emergency services. Lastly, from a provider and patient perspective, while both saw benefits of virtual care and scored the service relatively high on satisfaction after using virtual care, the greatest barrier to using virtual care may be technological challenges.


Elizabeth Borycki’s received a health professional investigator award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Canada at Accessed on 4 October 2021.


virtual care, virtual clinics, healthcare, virtual reality


Li, C., Borycki, E. M., & Kushniruk, A. W. (2021). Connecting the world of healthcare virtually: A scoping review on virtual care delivery. healthcare, 9(1325), 1-27.