The Future is Here


It was bound to happen in our futuristic society. How far we have come from the time when if one needed a doctor a family member would have to ride a horse to the nearest doctor’s home and get him to return with him to the home of the sick person. Today, and it will certainly improve from here, doctors can actually direct surgery remotely by ”telehealth” systems. Vital signs can be read remotely by nurses and doctors located away from the patient, 24 hour emergency services can be summoned by the press of a button, health education and advice can be seen on TV or the internet from distant locations where the expert is speaking, patient reminders to take their medicine is delivered by cell phone and on and on.
 
The United States Veterans Administration developed several early telehealth programs meant for adults with complex medical conditions, resulting from diabetes, stroke, and, congestive heart failure. The one that is the most applicable for physical therapists is the “Low Activities of Daily Living Monitoring Program”, LAMP. This is a program, which is administered through a text messaging device where physical and occupational therapists are able to monitor the activities of daily living and safety of frail older adults living on their own. The VA also has developed a program to determine the effect of telehealth on physical function, disability, falls-related selfefficacy and patient satisfaction after discharge to the home.
 
 
 One of the most recent physical therapy products using telehealth is the TUTOR system. Through the use of telerehabilitation patients who sustained a spinal cord or brain injury, upper or lower limb surgery resulting in some paralysis, Parkinson’s disease, CP, MS and other such illnesses are able to conduct their intensive physical therapy activities in their own home if they have been discharged from the hospital or live too far away from a rehabilitation clinic. Rehabilitation using the HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR is normally done at major rehabilitation in-patient and out-patient clinics as well as at private physical therapy clinics.  The TUTOR system has been developed to allow for functional rehabilitation of the whole body including the upper and lower extremity. The system consists of ergonomic wearable devices and dedicated rehabilitation software that provide patient instructions and feedback to encourage intensive and controlled exercise practice. In this way, the TUTOR system allows for controlled exercise of multijoints within the normal movement pattern which prevents the development of undesired and compensatory joint movement. It therefore ensures better performance of functional tasks.
 
 Additional features of the TUTOR physical therapy solution include quantitative evaluation and objective follow up that is important in the physiotherapists treatment of the stroke patient. Through the use of telerehabilitation the cost of treatment is kept to a minimum.The TUTORS are FDA and CE certified and are available for children as well as adults. See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for more information.
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