Using digital health technology

The digital health seminar, chaired by Cindy Veenhof, from the Netherlands, and Mark Merolli, from Australia, opened with questions for the audience, in an attempt to get to know more about their backgrounds and experiences in physiotherapy.

Each speaker had an opportunity to present on how they use digital health technologies in their work. Mark presented a case study on lower back pain where a client incorporated digital technologies, such as games, to aid his recovery.  

Arun Jayaraman, from the US, presented on the role of digital health in the recovery of stroke patients. He talked about the challenges of providing continuing care and the financial difficulties this sometimes causes for patients. He believes digital technology can be helpful for stroke patients and can aid with providing continuing care. Arun also explored the possibility of using sensor technologies and the potential advantages in monitoring recovery. The three sensors will monitor speech, swallowing and functional movement all in real time.

Corelein Kloek, from the Netherlands, gave an interesting presentation on how video conferences had allowed her to continue her work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Video conferences were key in allowing real time solutions, allowing interaction between physiotherapists and their clients without the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Research showed high satisfaction due to reduced travel time, better accessibility and diagnosis. She presented a case study about a patient in their late sixties with osteoarthritis. She shared tips for remote physiotherapy, including how to prepare a client for using online tools, how best to present yourself, and evaluate how it’s working for the patient. 

The seminar ended with a Q&A session. One audience member asked about how to work with patients with low technological literacy and working using digital health technologies in lower and middle income countries. Mark acknowledging the need for inclusivity and encouraging physiotherapists to think more about behaviour change, and said the technology must come second and the needs of the patient should be first and foremost.

Congress sessions are available on demand to all registered participants until 8 July 2021.

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World Physiotherapy Congress 2021 online