This topic is one Amy Vincent, Occupational Therapist and Director, researched with her peers and published in a medical journal in 2013. What did they discover, well before the COVID-19 pandemic and when technology to support #telehealth was still emerging?
A high level of accuracy and reliability was observed for the telerehabilitation assessments performed in the study, compared with face to face assessments
The ability to record patients performing various tests provides scope for performance to be viewed multiple times leading to a more accurate assessment
Having a carer or family member present with the patient would be helpful to aid in communication with the treating clinician
System factors (in 2006) could be improved (audio and video quality)
Fast forward to 2020. Technology is more accessible and the quality of video-conferencing is greater and more reliable. Right now, telehealth may be viewed by many as the “only” option but it should not be seen as a last resort - it’s a viable option that should be available all the time, not just because of the pandemic.
The pandemic has given us the opportunity to review how we work and why we work in certain ways. We may not have tried telehealth before now because we haven't had to so maybe now being forced to will open the doors to new ways of working once the pandemic is over. Perhaps what may come is more a combination of treatment options in the future and using this as a springboard to work more agilely.
View the research in full HERE.