Since COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown the health and medical industry has advanced 5-10 years in the space of 3 months. One of those changes was access to online appointments, video consultation and treatments sometimes referred to as Telehealth. In this blog I aim to explain how online video consultations and treatments work and why you should consider one of these appointments.
How do online video appointments work?
Online video appointments work similarly to our in clinic appointments, just without the travel, waiting room experience and travel back home. Your therapist will take you through a comprehensive case history and examination.
You will be provided with treatment in the form of exercises and rehabilitation, self treatment techniques and lifestyle changes and injury management advice.
Not all patients need hands on manual therapy such as an osteopathy or physiotherapy treatment and therefore appointments and this can be completed in the comfort of your own home.
Why should I choose an online video appointment over an in-clinic appointment?
Anyone of any age and ability can access online video appointments however you may wish to prioritise an online video appointment if you:
are unable to or prefer not to travel to your nearest clinic
are to ill or in too much pain to attend an appointment
are elderly or disabled and would prefer to do the appointment from the comfort of your own home
would prefer to get an online consultation, diagnosis and initial advice prior to an in-clinic appointment
Are looking specifically for rehabilitation only
What do I need for the online video appointment?
You don’t need much to begin an online video consultation and in fact they are super easy to access and you can join one online from anywhere in the world! You will just need:
a comfortable seat and your phone, laptop or desktop computer
space around you in case we need you to move during the examination phase
a good internet connection and good lighting – we can call you on the phone should your internet connection not be sufficient
You may want to have an assistant available during your appointment to help with movements and certain tests during the examination phase
What’s the difference between a FREE online video consultation and a Full online video appointment?
Whilst you will get the full experience of a full online video appointment detailed above, you can book in for one of our FREE 15 minute video consultations with one of our qualified therapists. Within the FREE consultation our therapist will:
advise the best treatment and approach depending on your presenting injury
advise the best therapist for you to be seeing if it is not the therapist on the call
answer any questions that you may have about the injury or therapy
Can I do a phone call rather than a video call?
Not everyone will be able to do an online video appointment. Poor internet connection or a lack of accessible technology will mean that some people would prefer their appointment via a telephone call instead. At the clinic we welcome both video and telephone call appointments.
Is my online video appointment safe and secure?
Yes – we conduct online video appointments from the safety and secure of our clinic setting. We use software within our online clinic system “Cliniko” which is over a secure VPN connection. Each therapist will conduct the online video appointment from their treatment room for your own privacy.
We suggest that you also conduct your video call at home in a private room especially if you live with family or friends.
5 top reasons to have an online video appointment
Online video appointments save time and cost on traveling to a clinic for treatment
You can access your appointment from anywhere in the world
Accessing online appointments means that you can reduce your carbon footprint
Online video consultation from the comfort of your own home means greater accessibility for those with busy schedules, those unable to attend the clinic or those who would prefer not to travel during any public health crisis
Online video appointments have shown to be largely effective and safe in treating certain conditions, however further research needs to be undertaken due to the new nature of these types of appointments compared to in-clinic consultations.
Bennell, K, L., Nelligan, R., Dobson, F., et al. Effectiveness of an Internet-Delivered Exercise and Pain-Coping Skills Training Intervention for Persons With Chronic Knee Pain:ARandomizedTrial. Ann Intern Med. 2017;166:453–462.[Epub ahead of print 21 February 2017]. doi:https://doi.org/10.7326/M16-1714
Greenhalgh, T., Shaw, S., Wherton, J., Vijayaraghavan, S., Morris, J., Bhattacharya, S., Hanson, P., Campbell-Richards, D., Ramoutar, S., Collard, A., & Hodkinson, I. (2018). Real-World Implementation of Video Outpatient Consultations at Macro, Meso, and Micro Levels: Mixed-Method Study.Journal of medical Internet research,20(4), e150. https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.9897
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Shaw, S., A’Court, C., Cameron, D., Greenhalgh, T., Wherton, J., Seuren, L., (2019) Qualitative Analysis of Remote Consultations (QuARC). Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences: Medical Sciences Division. Accessed: 21/03/2020. Available from: https://www.phc.ox.ac.uk/research/interdisciplinary-research-in-health-sciences/research-studies/Qualitative-Analysis-of-Remote-Consultations-QuARC
Shaw, S., Wherton, J., Vijayaraghavan, S., et al. Advantages and limitations of virtual online consultations in a NHS acute trust: the VOCAL mixed-methods study. Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library; 2018 Jun. (Health Services and Delivery Research, No.6.21.)Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507677/doi: 10.3310/hsdr06210