What we’ll cover
What we have learned about telehealth in 2020
Despite considerable pre-existing evidence showing the effectiveness of Telehealth services, the uptake of these services had remained low until now. Telehealth is defined as the ‘use of telecommunication techniques for the purpose of providing telemedicine and health education over a distance’. Although Telehealth is not a novel concept, the Covid-19 pandemic became a catalyst for Telehealth uptake as physical distancing became imperative in slowing the spread of the virus and several previous barriers to it’s utilisation were reduced; including increased government and private health insurance funding and improved computer literacy as we were forced to stay socially connected via technology. Telehealth services allow for improved continuity of health care provision whilst maintaining both patient and clinician safety and allows more equitable access to healthcare for those considered “higher risk”.
Telehealth works just the same as standard ‘in person’ care:
There is considerable evidence to warrant the effective use of Telehealth services within the realms of physiotherapy. There is ample evidence to suggest Telehealth is effective for the management of multiple chronic health conditions, with Telehealth seen to be as effective as standard care for the treatment of most musculoskeletal conditions. Online assessment is shown to be of equal quality to that performed in person, and majority of patients report enjoying Telehealth services and feeling well supported.
Future opportunities for Telehealth:
Research shows that patients value several benefits of Telehealth including the reduction of several travel barriers, increasing the flexibility and accessibility of healthcare, as well as developing a greater understanding of how to better integrate management skills into daily life.
As we continue to make our way out towards “Covid normal”, we look to the future of how we can continue to utilise Telehealth services and improve patient outcomes.
Some of the most common benefits of Telehealth going forwards include:
- Increased flexibility of appointment times
- Efficient use of time for those who are “time poor”
- Reduced travel time and/ or travel barriers
- Allows for continuity of care whilst on holiday
- Allows for continuity of care whilst caring for children/ unable to find a babysitter
- Allows for specificity of home exercise program to be developed within your own living environment
If you would like to learn more about our Telehealth services or see if you are appropriate for a Telehealth consultation contact our team at Malvern East Physiotherapy. You can book online or call us to book an appointment with one of our experienced physiotherapists today.