Can Physical Therapy Be Video-Conferenced?
I have been waiting for months and months to purchase an iPad. I actually don't really need it and admittedly will probably not use it as much as I think I would. I just love Apple products! They are so clean and cute. Now, if I commuted to work on a train or bus I could use the iPad during my commute time. Or if my job included a lot of presentations or papers, I could do all those on the iPad on my couch instead of sitting at a desk. But I don't commute on a train and my job doesn't require any papers or presentations. I've thought of a million reasons to justify such a luxury purchase but haven't been able to buy one yet. I'm hoping one of my many secret admirers will send me one for Valentine's Day.
Anyway, some of the Apple websites have hinted about the features of the next iPad 2. It will be faster! Thinner! Cheaper! And it will have both a front camera for video conferencing and rear camera for taking photos. (Of course, another reason I need an iPad - for video conferencing with my distantly located mother!)
This leads to the next question - what role do you think video conferencing will have with physical therapy? Can you imagine a set of five videos leading a knee-replacement patient through the rehab process? Instead of home therapy visits, could both the therapist and the patient log onto a video to discuss remaining deficits? While I am not discounting the critical impact of hands-on, I think discussing the progressions in technology can assist our profession in providing even better care. Pre-recorded videos and live video options could be very beneficial for our patients to review correct exercise form or as a forum if symptoms flare.
Although I wasn't a clinician in the 1990s, I am sure the early development of computer use and Internet were not immediately integrated into physical therapy practice. As we now know, computers and Internet are critical to most PT clinics. There are some hospitals that use tablets similar to iPads for their live documentation. Imagine - using an iPad at work!
The possibilities of technology impacting our profession are guaranteed. How do you imagine these inventions changing your job?