Orthopedic Telehealth Continues to be a Valuable Option for Patients
The onset of the pandemic spurred the need for doctors to figure out how to care for their patients without risking exposure to the deadly virus. While telehealth services existed, their potential was largely untapped as many either preferred face-to-face visits or were weary of the efficacy of virtual care. However, as it became clear that returning to pre-pandemic care “normals” was not in the immediate future, doctors and patients alike began embracing all the benefits orthopedic telehealth offered.
Fast forward two years, and telehealth is here to stay. Although the vast majority of areas are open for business at full capacity, the ability to receive quality care virtually at home remains a popular option. As the telehealth industry grows, many wonder how it will affect realms like surgical planning and physical therapy, two areas that historically demand close attention from qualified physicians and therapists.
The Advancement Of Surgical Planning
Surgical planning is crucial for ensuring the success of the procedure and acting as a guide for the surgeon. In the past, this process used x-rays, which worked well but often failed to provide an in-depth, comprehensive view of the intended area. Technological advancements utilizing futuristic VR technology have transformed the surgical planning process, offering greater control for surgeons and greater peace of mind for patients.
For joint replacement surgeries, having a detailed view of the bone gives the surgeon unprecedented capabilities for minimally invasive, expedited surgeries. Kinomatic VR creates a detailed 3D model of the bone’s exact anatomy, showing every ridge, groove, and ligament, reducing how much resectioning is needed as opposed to traditional surgery. This highly detailed model allows the surgeon to work quickly and precisely, making recovery easier than ever.
Virtual Physical Therapy
Creating a minimally-invasive surgical alternative is the first step to complete patient recovery, but even the most successful joint replacement surgeries require physical therapy. With the success of telehealth as a guide, advancements in virtual physical therapy open the door for patients to receive the treatment they need without office visits.
OneStep has created a fully digital platform for a wide range of therapy and wellness needs, including joint replacement. OneStep connects patients with a licensed physical therapist chosen to match their specific needs, creating a personalized recovery plan with proven results. Patients’ movements are captured through their smartphones, so their therapist can monitor their progress.
Although no one could ever claim the pandemic was good, there’s no doubt it forced advances in comprehensive virtual medical solutions that would never have happened had the need for creative and ingenuitive care never occurred. Companies like Kinomtic VR and OneStep are stepping up and changing the face of medicine as we know it. By combining futuristic virtual reality with orthopedic telehealth, patients have access to life-changing care that minimizes the risks of complications and allows for stress-free, at-home recovery. As time progresses, these advancements will continue to develop, taking on a more prominent role in our healthcare systems and saving lives.
Source: Henry T W, Fletcher D, Vaccaro A R, et al. (July 20, 2021) Evaluating Patient Interest in Orthopedic Telehealth Services Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic. Cureus 13(7): e16523. doi:10.7759/cureus.16523