Are you ready to go Virtual?


It seems like each day something new is coming out with technology. The newest smart phones, tablets, GPS navigation, drones dropping off packages to your house. The possibilities seem endless with the way things are going. Things are so much easier now than they were before. With different devices, apps and programs that are offered we can cut time in half…sometimes in thirds if we wanted to. Let me ask you this question: Have you ever had an appointment that you had to reschedule due to inclement weather? You had that Physical Therapy appointment and had to cancel because the roads were terrible. Or you just couldn’t leave the house because you didn’t have anyone to watch your kids? What if I told you in the near future there will be a way to make it to these appointments without ever having to leave your house? In fact some are already doing this and reaping the benefits. How cool would it be to be able to have a Physical Therapy visit in the comfort of your living room? This is the wave of the future and I see it coming to a clinic near you sooner than you think.

Today was one of those days where a ton of people decided to cancel their appointment due to the weather. The problem was that Pittsburgh was calling for 4-9 inches of snow throughout the day, but we ended up getting nothing more than a dusting. Some people were so worried that they cancelled before the snow even started falling. The day started off strong but it did snow about a half an inch and that is just enough for people to start calling off. I have been using a program called BlueJay Engage for my patients for the past 7 months. It’s a great platform and app that puts home exercise programs into video format right on the app. Patients just click on the app and have their entire treatment of home exercises at their fingertips. The video plays and talks them through what they need to do. I love it because I can upload my own videos to demonstrate what I want my patients to do. The app also has a messaging service in it like a txt message. If the patient has a question they can contact me directly through the app even when I’m not in the office! Pretty cool huh? These are all great services to have and it makes it so much easier for the patient to be able to do their exercises as well as keep in contact with you. But the best part of this app is that it has Telehealth capabilities!

What is Telehealth? By definition it is the the provision of healthcare remotely by means of telecommunications technology. So basically you can see a health professional over the internet. Doctors have been using this for years now. This gives the patient the ability to still see the Physical Therapist over a FaceTime atmosphere. I could go over any problems that you have, monitor your exercises as you do them, prescribe new exercises as well as educate you. Now this is not for every patient. I’m not saying let’s close up shop and focus on just seeing patients over the internet. Some of the treatment that patients need are not provided like manual hands on therapy, and the ability to evaluate a patient by touch. This is just another way to be able to see a patient that may have had to cancel. This gives options and convenience to the patient as well as the Physical Therapist. Telehealth is coming whether patients are ready for it or not. People want easy. It’s a proven fact. I know that if I were to have this option I would certainly take advantage of it. The question is would you? Who is ready to go virtual?
If you would like to learn more about BlueJay, or how you can start using this system contact me at nicksivrichpt@gmail.com
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