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PM R. 2017 May;9(5S):S51-S58. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2017.02.013.

Telehealth in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: A Narrative Review.

Author information

1
Harvard Medical School, Department of PM&R, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Charlestown, MA; 1575 Cambridge St, Room 9, Cambridge, MA 02138(∗). Electronic address: atenforde@partners.org.
2
Harvard Medical School, Department of PM&R, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Charlestown, MA(†).
3
Cerner Corporation, Kansas City, MO(‡).
4
Harvard Medical School, Department of PM&R, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Charlestown, MA(§).
5
Harvard Medical School, Department of PM&R, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Charlestown, MA; VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA(¶).

Abstract

Telehealth refers to health care interactions that leverage telecommunication devices to provide medical care outside the traditional face-to-face, in-person medical encounter. Technology advances and research have expanded use of telehealth in health care delivery. Physical medicine and rehabilitation providers may use telehealth to deliver care to populations with neurologic and musculoskeletal conditions, commonly treated in both acute care and outpatient settings. Patients with impaired mobility and those living in locations with reduced access to care may particularly benefit. Video-teleconferencing has been shown to be effective for management of burn patients during acute rehabilitation, including reduced health care use expenses and less disruptions to care. Telehealth can facilitate developing interprofessional care plans. Patients with neurologic conditions including stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may use telehealth to monitor symptoms and response to treatment. Telehealth also may facilitate occupational and physical therapy programs as well as improve weight management and skin care in patients with chronic conditions. Other applications include imaging review in sports medicine, symptom management and counseling in concussion, traumatic brain injury, and pain management programs. Limitations of telehealth include barriers in establishing relationship between medical provider and patient, ability to perform limited physical examination, and differences in payment models and liability coverage. The expansion of telehealth services is expected to grow and has potential to improve patient satisfaction by delivering high quality and value of care.

PMID:
28527504
DOI:
10.1016/j.pmrj.2017.02.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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