The COVID-19 pandemic has driven a massive change in how we work, study, and live. What had been a gradual shift toward remote work and virtual communication was suddenly accelerated around the world.
Telehealth and remote physical therapy are great examples of this. While the pandemic has made this a necessity for many people, the rapid adoption of virtual therapy sessions has increased the availability of virtual health and showcased their benefits to everyone. Even people who have the option of attending in-person physical therapy sessions have been increasingly choosing to opt for telehealth instead.
Still on the fence? It's understandable. Here are five convincing reasons why telehealth could be the better option.
When you factor in a 20-minute drive, time in a waiting room, the appointment itself, as well as additional issues that come when traveling (traffic, vehicle maintenance, sorting out public transit schedules, etc), a 30-minute physical therapy session can easily take up an hour and a half in the middle of your day.
Many parents are now managing schedules while their kids home from school, making an appointment on the other side of town unnecessarily challenging and stressful.
With remote physical therapy, your 30-minute session takes exactly 30 minutes in the comfort of your own home. There’s no traffic to deal with, no waiting room, and no wasted time.
New remote monitoring technologies have emerged since telehealth has become more common-place. Modern technology like the Cipher Skin BioSleeve allows anyone to put on a smart sleeve and transmit highly accurate data to their provider in real-time. Information such as heart rate, range of motion, and joint angle can all be measured remotely with equal or better accuracy than a clinician can manage in-person with old-fashioned methods.
Especially with the added burdens of having kids home from school, it can be extremely difficult to fit an in-person appointment into the middle of a day. Even if you're not a parent, you’re likely stuck with getting up extremely early and trying to beat traffic in order to make the first appointment that might be available before work. Or, you're taking off a substantial block of work in order to drive somewhere and back in the middle of the day.
Telehealth changes that. You can fit in an appointment at any time of day that works for you, with much greater control of your schedule. You have less juggling to do and can get the high-quality session that you need.
Modern technology makes telehealth or remote physical therapy comfortable, intuitive, and easy to understand. If you can manage basic functions like opening an app on a smartphone or tablet, you can do everything you need to have an effective teletherapy session.
The pandemic has changed our world. Going to high-traffic places like physical therapy clinics where lots of people are constantly moving in and out brings an unprecedented level of risk to those in vulnerable populations, especially in a healthcare setting where many of the people involved are ill or immunocompromised themselves.
This can make the risk to reward calculation for something like a physical therapy session much different. Many people don’t want to unnecessarily place themselves or their loved ones at risk, and the prospect of wearing a mask and slathering everything in hand sanitizer in order to hopefully remain safe is exhausting.
Telehealth changes this. You no longer have to choose between checking in with your physical therapist to make sure that your recovery from shoulder surgery is progressing well and the potential of unwittingly bringing a life-threatening illness home to your family.
By enabling fully remote sessions with your healthcare provider, you can get the quality care that you need while keeping yourself and your family safe.