Telemedicine and virtual care have quickly become important tools in caring for chronic patients while keeping safety as the COVID-19 pandemic quickly evolves”

PSO intends to set up a telehealth center where patients and their caregivers can receive online support on telehealth and get linked up to services.

Telehealth refers to health care interactions that leverage telecommunication devices to provide medical care outside the traditional in-person medical encounter. Technology advances and research has expanded the 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 from this initiative.

Video-teleconferencing is effective for the management of patients with burn injuries during acute rehabilitation, including reduced healthcare use expenses and less disruption to care. Telehealth has been proven to facilitate the development of interprofessional care plans. Patients with chronic pain such as neurologic conditions including stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, may use telehealth to monitor their symptoms and response to treatment. Telehealth may also facilitate occupational and physical therapy programs as well as improve weight management and skincare in patients with chronic conditions. Other applications include imaging reviews in sports medicine, symptom management and counseling in traumatic brain injuries, and pain management programs.

The expansion of telehealth services is expected to grow and has the potential to improve patient satisfaction by delivering high quality and value of care.

However, there are some limitations to telehealth, which include barriers in establishing a relationship between medical provider and patient, the ability to perform a limited physical examination, and differences in payment models and liability coverage.