What is Telehealth or Video Session and how does it work?
With the current pandemic, the advice to the population is to socially distance yourself unless it’s necessary to access face-to-face medical care. Allied Health services like physiotherapy and exercise physiology have been encouraged to continue operating by overarching bodies and the Federal Government, to allow continuation of vital rehab.
However, as an option for those that would prefer to remain socially distant or those that have self-isolated, telehealth could be for you.
The premise is to provide the same high level of care that you would receive in a normal physiotherapy consult, but from a distance. As you may have read in the “What to do about your pain while social distancing” blog, there are many ways to assist and treat your injury without the need for someone to work on you.
To make it easier to understand, here’s an example:
You bend down to pick up the washing basket at home and feel a strain your back. You find it hard to fully straighten back up and the pain escalates throughout the day. You think you may need some help but you’ve had a runny nose for a few days so don’t want to leave the house to go to the physio.
So what next? You call the physio and organise a telehealth or video appointment. All you need is a smart phone or tablet, or a computer when an in-built camera! When the appointment time comes, you are called by our receptionist to ensure the time is still convenient and discuss payment options. Once this is completed, you will be put through to your physio (or asked to click a link on your computer for video sessions), who will conduct a full history and thoroughly assess your case. They may ask you to try various movements to give them a better idea of what might be going wrong. After the assessment, the physio will form a plan for you, which will include education on the problem, advise on pain relief and self-management strategies, exercises to assist in the healing of the injury and referral for imaging (such as an x-ray) or to your GP/specialist if required. This will be emailed to you with a summary of the session.
As another benefit, these exercises can be provided on a free app called PhysiApp. This allows the physio to send your personalised program to your phone, where it can be edited and adjusted remotely, based on your needs. The app also has a chat function, so you can send through feedback, questions or comments on your program and allows us to respond accordingly. We can also organise for exercise rehab equipment to be delivered to your house if their inclusion is considered beneficial to your recovery.
Written by Andrew Alexander,
Physiotherapist at Physio Connex Performance Clinic