In the twenty-first century, there are many achievements and developments made by humankind. The concept of rehabilitation has been around since the beginning of the human race. In essence, it is an effort to restore lost functions and devise strategies to avoid injuries and disease. (Source)
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In this globalized society, we cannot miss the opportunity to gather developments related to telerehabilitation on this new website. An exciting sector where you can discover how technology and communications are effective tools for achieving our mission.
- 1 Why is there a website about telerehabilitation?
- 2 There are two important areas of telerehabilitation research:
- 3 Obligation:
- 4 Fitoont Telephone Service: a remote call
- 5 We provide outpatient telerehabilitation services:
- 6 How does telemedicine work in rehabilitation?
- 7 Objectives:
- 8 From rehabilitation to telerehabilitation. Does remote therapy work?
- 9 Specifically, in the field of physical therapy:
Why is there a website about telerehabilitation?
The Fitoont platform has always worked to promote, publish, research and current practices in telerehabilitation.
Distance rehabilitation is the use and practice of rehabilitation services through information and communication technology (information and communication) and the Internet.
Most departments fall into two categories:
- Clinical evaluation
- Clinical treatment.
Some of the areas of recovery practice that have investigated telerehabilitation are:
- Natural therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Audiology and telemedicine.
Telerehabilitation allows the use of therapy for individuals who are unable to make long trips. As the patient suffers from a muscular deficit or long distances and long travel time.
It facilitates access to professionals and patients from different locations, which saves travel costs and waiting times and thus increases productivity.
Most of the telerehabilitation applications and services are very visible. As of 2007, the most popular modalities are through web cameras, videoconferencing, telephone lines, video phones, and web pages containing applications rich in content and interaction with the Internet user.
There are two important areas of telerehabilitation research:
- Demonstrate the ability to compare evaluation and treatment with departments.
- Create new frameworks for classifying information to digitize data that professionals can use in training.
The Fitoont platform includes messaging and information sharing methods between scientists, educators, experts, students, and clients.
Fitoont Telephone Service: a remote call
For Fitoont, the priority in its activity has always been the protection and well-being of our patients. Our preference has always been and still is to visit the patient face to face.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has created a social and health setting that has made it imperative for us to think about other ways to approach patient care. Always aiming to provide the highest levels of safety and efficiency to our patients.
However, we do not want this security to prevent us from dealing in any way with the various illnesses and diseases of the people who request them.
As part of this effort, the authorities always recommend, in the current circumstances, to make remote medical calls
We provide outpatient telerehabilitation services:
In our Fitoont platform, we offer outpatient telerehabilitation. To what we are currently proposing for both, the possibility of combining face-to-face visits with remote visits, depending on the characteristics of the operation and the circumstances of the patient.
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How does telemedicine work in rehabilitation?
European guidelines also advised: Telemedicine in rehabilitation is an approach or complement to face-to-face procedures.
This is why during the pandemic, this telemedicine system was launched in Fitoont. This means a significant financial effort, with expenditures in the means and people who have had to work and remain active during this crisis.
The management team, doctors, physiotherapists and the secretariat have turned to analyze each individual case, designing an individualized treatment and follow-up plan for each patient.
In this way, we were able to prevent the patient from leaving his fate due to the current pandemic.
Thus, these remote visits are the first step in your treatment plan which will continue according to the circumstances and the health authorities allow us to advise us.
Therefore, we currently have two types of visits:
- Remote text chat
- Face-to-face video calls
In fact, both became mixed visits because by following the above guidelines, the patient will be reviewed again and evaluated by the team, on an ongoing basis, when conducting the rehabilitation period, be it at home or on an outpatient basis and at the end.
Also provide appropriate guidelines and advice to maintain your health according to your pathology:
- TV visit protocol:
In contrast, remote visits can have two formats:
- Telephone visit
- Video consultation with a completely secure Fitoont-owned channel
A remote visit is not an event or an isolated protocol. It is the first medical act in the rehabilitation process for our patients.
- Avoid unnecessary initial trips for those sick people who may be harmed due to their age or circumstances.
- Reducing the risk of infection.
- Simplification of first visits to patients with chronic diseases or who require “call-up” periods in rehabilitation.
- Complete precedents for their underlying diseases and social conditions that may affect their rehabilitation process
In patients with chronic illnesses or already known for the service, updating of their data and changes in their vital conditions that may affect treatment are permitted.
- By speeding up visits, it allows to detect early changes in health conditions that could affect rehabilitation.
- Begin the treatment regimen tailored for that patient with ADL activities and exercises at home if needed.
Prepare and explain to the patient the purpose, goals, and what the face-to-face rehabilitation will consist of.
From rehabilitation to telerehabilitation. Does remote therapy work?
Rehabilitation has been used traditionally (and today) to reduce pain, improve function, and improve certain diseases in general. The pathological process is increasingly associated with rehabilitation, as it has been observed to improve the patient’s quality of life and reduce the problems arising from pathology.
Telerehabilitation welcomes different health professionals, such as:
- Occupational therapists
- Speech therapists
- Opticians and much more.
Each of these professionals has their own techniques to treat different problems that a patient may have, regardless of whether a patient has diseases of the musculoskeletal system, nervous system, pelvic floor, or heart disease…
Now, successful rehabilitation is something that was already known, but could it be done remotely?
The concept of telerehabilitation refers to the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to implement the telerehabilitation service, either at home or in another environment. Despite the fact that in Spain, for example, it seems a very new and unwieldy concept. When we go a little deeper into the topic, we find that he started studying in 1997 (23 years ago).
However, it is important to note that the fact that a technology has been in use for a long time does not necessarily mean that the technology is effective. But there appears to be a trend towards telerehabilitation. This is due to the fact that we have less and less time and the technology is increasingly facilitated its implementation as a combined treatment with other techniques.
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Specifically, in the field of physical therapy:
Depending on the patient who arrives for the counseling, the treatments that a physical therapist performs can be divided into passive (the patient does nothing) or active (the patient is part of the rehabilitation). In general, from the clinical field, the terms “hands-on and intervention” are used, and more passive treatments are generally used in more severe processes to achieve short-term changes and more active treatments to induce long-term changes (since changes in structure). Indeed, many experts recommend not forgetting the patient’s effective treatment in rehabilitation, as many doctors tend to forget it.
This facilitates remote treatment, as there are many techniques that do not require the “hands” of the therapist, such as curative education or curative exercise, especially in those diseases that appear frequently or are already well established, such as chronic pain.
An example of this disease is osteoarthritis of the knee, which results from “wearing out” of the articular cartilage between the femur and the shin. This causes pain, inflammation, loss of strength in the leg muscles, loss of movement, and thus disability. Away from what it may seem, the most specific treatment for this disease is gradual exercise, but it is essential to know the exercise, how to do it, and how much.
In 2016, the Fitoont team analyzed several studies on remote interventions in knee osteoarthritis and subsequently performed statistical calculations and concluded that remote therapy improves pain and improves disability.
1- Even in the cases of patients who have undergone knee replacement surgery:
It has been scientifically proven that telemedicine or telerehabilitation therapy has succeeded when mediated by a hospital center.
2- In other shoulder injuries, such as subacromial impingement syndrome:
There are also exercise protocols that are performed remotely, although the authors conclude that there are a lot of differences with regard to the exercise protocols.
However, this fact may not definitely be a nuisance if the physical therapist is observing:
- Type of exercise
- Other variables related to exercise.
In addition to the field of trauma, there is also scientific research that has studied the effects of telerehabilitation in patients with neurological injuries such as stroke.
A stroke or cerebrovascular accident is a disease in which the brain momentarily loses part of its blood supply. This causes the patient to lose a large part of his ability to perform the movements, which causes a lot of disability.
Once again, a comprehensive research has been conducted to determine whether remote rehabilitation can be conducted for these patients. Sarfo and his research team concluded that results equal or superior to conventional rehabilitation are obtained in terms of corticomotor effects and mood disturbances.
In conclusion, there are many studies that have investigated the effects of telerehabilitation in various diseases and stages. Although it sounds like something new, it will last for a long time with completely positive results as long as it will be properly designed and the patient is adequately monitored, with the treatment plan approved if necessary.