European University of Lefke (EUL) Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation faculty member Asst. Prof. Dr. Aydın Meriç made statements on “Telerehabilitation” and gave detailed information.
Meriç said, “The developments in computer technology in recent years have caused striking changes in the field of health as well as in all sectors,” and that the term telerehabilitation was used for the first time in 1996 and has been accepted by wider circles every year since then.
“Telerehabilitation is a service model that provides remote assessment, consultation, monitoring and therapy services using the internet and telecommunication network, and builds a bridge between areas with limited opportunities and central regions”
Meriç said, “Telerehabilitation is a service model that provides remote assessment, consultation, monitoring and therapy services using the internet and telecommunication network, and builds a bridge between areas with limited opportunities and central regions. In telerehabilitation, we can count three main items such as ensuring the continuous training of therapists, patients and family members through electronic communication systems, ensuring and following up the continuity and development in rehabilitation after the patient is discharged, and performing the necessary therapeutic interventions from long distances. Accordingly, tele-medicine and tele-rehabilitation are concepts that complement each other and are often intertwined.
“Undoubtedly, the main purpose of rehabilitation is to provide patients with the necessary medical care and education about daily living activities first hand, during their stay in the hospital. However, all over the world, due to the increase in treatment costs and the increasing privatization of health systems, hospital stays are shortened and a significant part of rehabilitation works can be done away from hospitals,” said Meriç and continued his words as follows; “Moreover, for a patient who has mobility difficulties and has to overcome many architectural obstacles, reaching hospitals or rehabilitation centers creates a great difficulty. The number of rehabilitation and other health care personnel to serve people living in such remote areas is very low compared to big cities. Therefore, patients often have to apply to centers or hospitals in big cities. The real importance of telerehabilitation emerges here and such patients can be enabled to benefit from rehabilitation services.
In the continuation of Meriç’s statement he stated; “In telerehabilitation; development and evaluation of telecommunication techniques for maintaining distance education, consultancy and rehabilitation services, ‘tele-consultation’, development and evaluation of technologies for evaluation and monitoring of progress as a result of distance rehabilitation, ‘tele-monitoring’, ‘tele-assessment’, for remote therapeutic intervention We can list the objectives of developing and evaluating technologies, conducting research on virtual reality technology applications for ‘tele-therapy’ rehabilitation.
Meriç listed the situations in which telerehabilitation can be used as follows;
– Follow-up and treatment of pressure sores,
-Assess the wheelchair seat and other chair-related modifications,
– Making use of assistive technology opportunities for patients living at long distances,
– Making necessary changes in daily life activities in the home,
– Educating patients so that they can benefit more from communication tools,
– To provide training on computer use and to encourage computer use,
– Making use of an electronically controlled, mechanical robot in the patient’s domestic activities with the “Telerobot” technology,
– To provide education and rehabilitation services for people with brain damage on behavioral disorders, cognitive deficits, ability to return to school or work.
Meriç finally said, “Telerehabilitation services are used in many areas of rehabilitation. By reducing the time, distance and cost barriers, it provides equal access to rehabilitation services for all patients with chronic diseases.”