What is TeleRehab?

Telehealth is the delivery of care across a distance via information and communication technologies.  Telehealth can be used to provide rehabilitation (TeleRehab).  Just like in-person rehabilitation TeleRehab can include:
 - subjective interview
 - patient assessment
 - goal setting, and
 - individualised exercises and rehabilitation tasks.

The delivery of services and exchange of information relating to patient/ client care that uses any form of technology including, but not limited to, video conferencing, internet and telephone, as an alternative to in person interaction.

Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand
Best Practice Guide for Telehealth

Why should I consider using TeleRehab?

This model of care has multiple advantages including:
- enabling access to rehabilitation services
- reducing practical barriers like travel time and parking
- enabling rehabilitation to take place in the persons own home.
In these times of COVID-19 TeleRehab allows us to maintain social distancing, minimize the risk of disease transmission by keeping vulnerable patients, families and clinicians safe while reducing the disruption for those receiving stroke rehabilitation services.

How is TeleRehab delivered?

  • Telephone:  If you need to monitor your patient's general wellbeing progress and engagement in an existing rehabilitation programme, then picking up the phone is often the simplest solution.  Text messaging (SMS) can also be used to support engagement and provide simple education. Telephone consultation maybe less fatiguing for the patient.

  • Videoconferencing: There are lots of advantages to being able to see and hear your patient.  Video conferencing can be used to deliver a more comprehensive rehabilitation programme.  For example, to observe function, perform assessments remotely or demonstrating and modifying rehabilitation exercises.  Both business (e.g. zoom) and telehealth (e.g. Coviu, Vsee) platforms may have whiteboard, screen sharing and file sharing functions, which may be useful features in TeleRehab sessions.

  • Email and Web-based resources:  If you don't require interaction consider sharing web-based links, video and pdfs of educational and rehabilitation activities via email or text.  It is also possible to quickly develop and share video resources to groups and individual patients.

  • Telerehabilitation Platforms: There are a number of purpose built TeleRehab platforms.

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