Telerehabilitation has emerged as a revolutionary innovation in healthcare, providing unprecedented opportunities for the recovery of patients everywhere around the globe.
This approach to remote rehabilitation leverages technology to connect patients and healthcare professionals digitally, providing access to specialized services that are usually location-dependent.
This article we explore the benefits of telerehabilitation, where it stands today, how the new technologies work, and what the new challenges are.
What is telerehabilitation?
Telerehabilitation, also known as remote rehabilitation or virtual therapy, is a healthcare approach that uses technology to provide rehabilitation services to patients in their own homes or other locations.
Instead of attending rehabilitation sessions in person, patients can connect with therapists and specialists through various platforms, mobile apps, and other digital means. This makes care more accessible for those who have difficulty getting around or who live in remote areas.
In addition, telerehabilitation can increase treatment times or doses with the practice of tasks at home and complementing it with conventional rehabilitation.
What are the benefits of telerehabilitation?
Telerehabilitation brings different benefits for patients, physicians, and rehabilitation centers. The following is a list of benefits for each of the agents involved in the rehabilitation process.
Benefits of telerehabilitation for patients
For patients, the main benefits of telerehabilitation are:
Access to motor recovery therapies: universal access, because telerehabilitation eliminates geographical and mobility barriers, allowing patients to receive care no matter where they are. In other words, it democratizes access to specialized tools that truly understand patients' needs.
Cost savings: Telerehabilitation can be more cost-effective than in-person visits because it saves transportation costs and time.
Comfort: Patients can schedule rehabilitation sessions at a time that suits them best, reducing the need for travel and waiting time.
Physical rehabilitation: Patients recovering from orthopedic surgeries, sports injuries, or accidents can receive exercise and strengthening therapy online.
Neurological rehabilitation: People with neurological conditions such as stroke or spinal cord injury may benefit from virtual occupational and physical therapy.
The Future and the Challenges of Telerehabilitation
As technology continues to evolve, telerehabilitation will progress and expand its capabilities. Artificial intelligence and virtual reality may play an increasingly important role in remote rehabilitation, improving the personalization of treatment programs and making sessions more immersive and effective.
Despite its benefits, telerehabilitation also presents challenges that are being resolved as more feedback emerges from users, science, and technology.
Challenges of telerehabilitation for the patients.
The challenges presented by telerehabilitation for patients vary depending on the patient population and medical conditions involved, but some common challenges include:
Access to technology: Not all patients have access to mobile devices, computers, or a reliable Internet connection, which must be safeguarded to ensure therapeutic continuity.
Technological competence: Some patients, especially the older ones or those with limited technology skills, may have difficulty using telerehabilitation platforms, so it is very important to consider learning curves for better adherence.
Privacy and security issues: Patients may be concerned about the privacy and security of their medical data during telerehabilitation sessions. It is important to ensure that the platforms used adhere to privacy and information security regulations.
Regardless of the mentioned challenges, they all have a solution. As more advancements in this technology emerge, every weakness becomes an opportunity for improvement.
Challenges of telerehabilitation concerning therapists
Telerehabilitation also presents some specific challenges for therapists and healthcare professionals who provide rehabilitation services at a distance. These challenges may be different depending on the therapy discipline and the amount of population they serve, but some common challenges include:
Difficulty in detailed observation: In some rehabilitation disciplines, such as physiotherapy, detailed observation of the patient's movements and posture is essential. Image and video quality in telerehabilitation can be limited, making accurate observation difficult.
Challenges in documentation and data recording: Recording and documenting patient progress effectively on a digital platform can be a complex process that requires additional time.
Adapting to new technologies: Therapists may require training and familiarization with the tools and technology platforms used in telerehabilitation, which can take time and effort.
To address these challenges, it is important for therapists practicing telerehabilitation to be properly trained in the use of technology, establish clear communication protocols with patients, and collaborate closely with other healthcare professionals when needed.
Rehabilitation challenge in general and what Kinesix VR is doing about it.
Kinesix VR is a specialized virtual reality system to delivers high-intensity, task-oriented therapeutic solutions.
Stroke is the leading cause of disability worldwide; in fact, every year 12 million people suffer a stroke and face difficulties accessing specialized services and professionals. It is a tedious, costly, and geographically dependent process.
As expert therapists, we are witnessing the lack of specialized tools that accelerate the rehabilitation of patients with neurological disorders and facilitate professional practice. Here is a brief explanation of our goals to overcome the challenges we face:
We create engaging and effective digital therapeutic solutions that also enable the capture and tracking of patient recovery with advanced technology, offering real-time monitoring and telerehabilitation services.
We integrate immersive technology and available neurological evidence-based data, developing a high-quality methodology for therapeutic solutions.
We democratize access to specialized tools that truly understand the needs of patients and therapists.
We define protocols and train professionals to make therapy through immersive virtual reality work successfully.
We effectively increase the therapeutic intensity and number of repetitions needed to improve recovery outcomes.
We enable the tracking of functional data relevant to clinicians and patients.
We optimize the productivity of rehabilitation services and enable the delivery of a remote and personalized rehabilitation service.
It is now possible to maximize the recovery process and people's independence through access to new specialized tools at a lower cost.