HandTutor eHealth Telemedicine and Tele-Rehabilitation Report

Hospital Waiting Room

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A recent report published by the eHealth Telemedicine community ICT discusses applications in tele-rehabilitation. The report can be found at: http://bit.ly/eeuJgP

The report summarizes tele-rehabilitation as the delivery of rehabilitation services to distant locations, through the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). The report states that the main drive for the introduction of tele-rehabilitation is the need to give specialized therapy to a geographically dispersed population in addition to the need to reduce costs while maintaining or increasing the quality of service. In addition patients that need physically rehabilitation will most probably have mobility issues that make transport to a specialized rehab centre difficult and expensive.

Tele-rehabilitation sessions are more flexible in terms of the timing and frequency of sessions and allow for more follow up on patient compliance and performance when compared to out patient clinic appointments. In addition rehabilitation programs done in the patients home environment have been proven to give better outcomes than equivalent rehabilitation programs conducted in the clinic environment. Up until recently tele-rehabilitation has had two main disadvantages namely, the lack of physical contact between physician and patient and lack of technologies tools that can quantitatively evaluate and treat the patient’s movement dysfunction.

The HandTutor system consists of a glove and software that uses motion feedback sensors to evaluate and treat the patients speed, range and accuracy of hand movements in real time. The dedicated rehabilitation software allows the patient and therapist to monitor and customize the exercise training in real time using readily available remote monitoring and audio and video internet tools to allow for inexpensive virtual physician contact. It is currently being used by patients with hand movement dysfunction in their home environment and is supported by therapists through tele-rehabilitation.  http://bit.ly/f6i542


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