Dr. Vinodhkumar Ramalingam, Professor & Head of Sports and Manual Therapy, Saveetha College of Physiotherapy, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Science, Chennai
The field of telerehabilitation, with its technological developments, presents great potential for promoting sustainable health within our ecosystem. This can be achieved through various means, such as enhancing patient access to healthcare, cutting costs, optimizing resource use, minimizing environmental impact, improving continuity of care, empowering patients, minimizing environmental impact, developing innovative healthcare models, and more.
Through telerehabilitation, people in rural or underserved areas can receive healthcare treatments without being hindered by distance. This enhanced accessibility can lead to early detection and management of health issues, reducing the burden on healthcare facilities and preventing the escalation of health problems. Telerehabilitation cuts down on the costs of in-person clinical visits by offering remote consultations, monitoring, and interventions. This includes savings on facility fees and travel costs. Moreover, early intervention and prevention facilitated by telerehabilitation can potentially decrease the overall cost of care by preventing the progression of diseases and complications.
Telerehabilitation facilitates seamless coordination and communication between patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals by fostering continuity of care across several locations and healthcare specialists in a real time. Telerehabilitation empowers patients to actively participate in the management of their own healthcare by providing them with tailored health information, technology for remote monitoring, and training materials.
In a book chapter on telerehabilitation in physiotherapy, Prof. Dr. Vinodhkumar and his colleagues expressed their strong belief that telerehabilitation can lead to long-term improvements in healthcare delivery through improving patient empowerment, continuity of care, cost reduction, resource optimization, and environmental minimization. The long-term resilience and sustainability of global health ecosystems can be enhanced by embracing telerehabilitation as an essential part of sustainable health.