A therapist’s experience of using Physiotools Remote
With COVID-19 restrictions being in force, Finnish physiotherapy provider FysioPeimari Ltd is now offering remote rehabilitation services. The company has been using Physiotools Remote since the beginning of April.
Many of FysioPeimari’s clients are severely disabled and some live in assisted facilities that implemented visiting restrictions during lockdown. Other clients were reluctant to use a taxi service for fear of infection. The restrictions meant that CEO Sirpa Nieminen had to lay off her employees and therefore now takes care of clients herself.
Sirpa uses remote rehabilitation with clients that have the necessary cognitive abilities to use the service. She has observed that her clients have greatly benefitted from their remote rehab sessions. They have been happy to follow the clear videos that can be played at a suitable pace and repeated as many times as necessary.
Thorough preparation has been key to successful remote rehab. Sirpa recommends setting clear targets for the therapy session and selecting the exercises to be used during the session in advance. Sirpa says “It is important that Physiotools Remote holds a sufficient number of exercises. In future, I plan to create templates with different emphases to be used in Physiotools Remote, so it will be easy to select suitable exercises.” Another major prerequisite for successfully implementing remote rehab is knowing the clients’ abilities from earlier meetings.
Remote rehab has been a new experience, not only for the therapist, but also for her clients. One of them has not been able to attend face-to-face rehab due to a high risk of infection and has therefore been particularly enjoying their remote sessions. This client used a cell phone during the first session, but has since switched to a larger screen, which has improved the overall rehab experience.
Sirpa specializes in physiotherapy that requires a high level of presence and physical contact, such as manual therapy, acupuncture and neurological therapy. This is one of the reasons why she had not tried, nor felt the need to try, remote rehab earlier. However, with the very first restrictions being announced, Sirpa started to make plans for implementing remote rehab – also keeping in mind future needs.
“When KELA (the Finnish Social Insurance Institution) announced that physical therapy had to be put on hold, this really pulled the rug out from under our feet”, Sirpa says. This was at about the same time as state agency Business Finland announced that one could apply for state funding. FysioPeimari submitted their application and it was accepted. Now the company is using the funds to develop remote rehab processes and abilities that can continue to be applied in normal times, such as a chat service and space dedicated to remote rehab consultations. “I have come to see this as a chance to develop my business”, Sirpa concludes.