Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Nov 8;16(22). pii: E4366. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16224366.

Impact of a Telemedicine Program on the Reduction in the Emission of Atmospheric Pollutants and Journeys by Road.

Author information

Health Promotion in Rural Areas Research Group, Institut Català de la Salut, 08272 Sant Fruitós de Bages, Spain.
Unitat de Suport a la Recerca de la Catalunya Central, Fundació Institut Universitari per a la Recerca a l'Atenció Primària de Salut Jordi Gol i Gurina, 08007 Barcelona, Spain.
Faculty of Social Sciences, Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya, 08242 Manresa, Spain.
TIC Salut Social-Ministry of Health, 08005 Barcelona, Spain.
CRES&CEXS-Pompeu Fabra University, 08005 Barcelona, Spain.
Sant Joan de Déu Hospital, Catalan Ministry of Health, 08950 Barcelona, Spain.


This retrospective study evaluates the effect of a telemedicine program developed in the central Catalan region in lowering the environmental footprint by reducing the emission of atmospheric pollutants, thanks to a reduction in the number of hospital visits involving journeys by road. Between January 2018 and June 2019, a total of 12,322 referrals were made to telemedicine services in the primary care centers, avoiding a total of 9034 face-to-face visits. In total, the distance saved was 192,682 km, with a total travel time saving of 3779 h and a total fuel reduction of 11,754 L with an associated cost of €15,664. This represents an average reduction of 3248.3 g of carbon dioxide, 4.05 g of carbon monoxide, 4.86 g of nitric oxide and 3.2 g of sulphur dioxide. This study confirms that telemedicine reduces the environmental impact of atmospheric pollutants emitted by vehicles by reducing the number of journeys made for face-to-face visits, and thus contributing to environmental sustainability.


air pollutants; carbon dioxide; primary care; telemedicine; vehicle emissions

Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Loading ...
Support Center