Catastrophic situations such as Covid-19 pandemic affected the overall healthcare delivery, wherein admissions to hospitals and emergency services posed a risk of infection. In such a setting, the use of telemedicine interventions proved to be an extremely important solution to improve the quality of life in vulnerable patients such as individuals with neurological diseases, people of determination, geriatric, paediatric and stroke patients. Moreover, telemedicine interventions provided at-home solutions allowing clinicians to tele-monitor and assess patients remotely, thus minimising risk of infection.
At Thumbay Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Hospital, our telemedicine process represented a replacement for in-person treatment and thereby created a provision of equitable access to quality care of vulnerable people. To begin with, it’s conceptualised as a comprehensive service including: (a) tele-assistance with patient assessment and providing a plan of therapy/treatment, (b) telemonitoring of patients’ health conditions and any changes over time, as well as (c) telerehabilitation, that includes interventions to assess and promote body’s functions, activities, and subsequently patient engagement.
The successful implementation of telemedicine services for conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, physiotherapy, etc., made it a promising therapeutic possibility in the last two years of the global fight against the corona pandemic. A 75-year-old Emirati, who had a fifth toe amputation, chronic kidney disease and multiple comorbidity issues, had regained her muscle power for walking — thanks to intense rehabilitation care provided by Thumbay’s expert panel of therapists. Timely assessment, followed by detailed plan of care and home visits by the therapists boosted the patient’s confidence to walk independently with a walker in a short span of four months.
At Thumbay Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Hospital, our telemedicine process represented a replacement for in-person treatment and thereby created a provision of equitable access to quality care of vulnerable people.
Ultimately, in the above case, home rehabilitation services answered the difficult question how to fairly distribute scarce life-supporting healthcare resources with implications for Covid-19 survivals. For many patients locally, Thumbay Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Hospital’s home care services turned out to be one safest and effective tools in providing the home rehabilitation without compromising the quality. Going forward too, this telemedicine process flow could be beneficial and implemented on a large scale not only to improve the public health and allow clinicians to deliver good quality care in remotely but also to provide equitable health care for patients with mobility restrictions or living remotely from specialised health care centres.