4 min read. Written by Shirouz Elango
Imagine being able to receive quality medical care without leaving your home, while being able to play a part in your progress and recovery at home.
This is a dream made into reality with telerehabilitation services—also known as telerehab.
Telerehabilitation has been around since 1998 as an alternative approach to traditional interventions, and the events of COVID-19 has since accelerated the adoption and implementation of such services, even in Singapore. Let’s explore more on how it works, and how embracing it can bring benefits to you and your family.
What does Telerehabilitation mean in Singapore’s context?
Rapid evolution in technology has revolutionised all aspects of medical care, from treatment methodologies to actual delivery of interventions. Telerehabilitation is a form of healthcare that is delivered remotely. This means that the patient does not have to physically go to the clinic for treatment, instead, they make use of telephones, laptops, mobile applications, or other forms of communication to receive care.
For people who are unable to be physically present for their therapy session, telerehabilitation proves to be an innovative solution that enables them to continue to receive rehab services.
In Singapore, there are several institutions and private practices that already adopt remote methods to deliver therapy for their patients. Aside from the usual video conferencing tools for practitioners to deliver basic physiotherapy exercises, some make use of virtual reality or even artificial intelligence for in-depth rehabilitative care. Of course, this only applies to more advanced cases—most physiotherapy interventions do not require such complex technologies.
How does Telerehabilitation work for Physiotherapy?
As surprising as it is, telerehabilitation is incredibly convenient. All you need is access to a mobile device with a stable internet connection!
During the initial appointment, the physiotherapist will conduct a full appraisal of your range of motion and overall functional abilities. Based on that assessment, the therapist may then plan and conduct a customised program for you to improve any imbalances or pain.
Subsequent appointments would be those that track your progress and recovery, where there will be more tips for you to perform self-massage, strengthening and stretching. Your programme will also be modified according to your pace and comfort level.
You’d be relieved to know that telerehabilitation appointments usually do not require any kind of professional physiotherapy equipment—unless otherwise advised by your therapist. Our physiotherapists will be able to guide you simply using bodyweight exercises, or general household items such as a towel or water bottle.
Can Telerehabilitation be beneficial for Physiotherapy?
Here are some of the benefits that telerehabilitation can bring for both patients and their families:
Cost-effective, with similar or better results
Studies have proven that telerehabilitation reduces the cost for patients as compared to traditional rehabilitative care. Our patients find telerehabilitation an appealing choice because it will save them the costs and inconvenience of commuting and clinic waiting periods. This treatment option also allows patients who are unable to physically turn up for appointments to choose telerehab sessions instead.
Telerehab overcomes the barriers of distance and time for patients, especially for those with troubles getting around, or those who require daily rehabilitation. It can also prove to be incredibly convenient for family members—patients who choose telerehab can have more physiotherapy sessions without needing to depend on their family members to bring them for appointments.
Flexibility and Freedom
Patients enjoy more freedom and control over their sessions. With telerehab, they not only have the benefit of having the physiotherapist map out their exercises, but also have the freedom to perform them in their own time. This empowers them to take the drivers’ seat in their recovery journey.
Who is Telerehabilitation suitable for?
It is important to note that telerehab services may not be suitable for all types of patients, especially for those who require more attentive care. It is up to physiotherapists to assess the suitability of remote rehabilitation for their patients. Some criteria that they consider would be:
- Nature of Condition: Telerehabilitation is not recommended for conditions that require manual therapy or techniques that require a hands-on approach.
- Lifestyle: Factors such as inconsistent schedule, frequent travelling, or familial obligations may be taken into consideration when deciding the suitability of telerehab services.
- Demographic: The appeal for telerehab is higher amongst younger patients. However, therapists also do consider the convenience that telerehabilitation presents for older patients.
Telerehabilitation & Physiotherapy
Get into a more direct route to recovery with telerehabilitation physiotherapy services. Get in touch with us today to find out your suitability for telerehabiliation.
Last Reviewed by Jaden Lim on 30/03/2022