‘Telerehabilitation can provide essential services to stroke, Parkinson’s patients’

At WCNR 2018, Dr Anne Hill, Postdoctoral Research Fellow Telerehabilitation Research Unit at the University of Queensland, Australia, conducted a session on experience in speech and language telerehabilitation. According to her, there is a growing body of evidence for the use of telerehabilitation in speech pathology especially in people affected with Parkinson's and stroke. So, it’s about taking that evidence and putting it into services

‘Telerehabilitation can provide essential services to stroke, Parkinson’s patients’

Dr Anne Hill explained, “Telerehabilitation is the delivery of services over distance using some form of technology. It enables us to provide access to services. This is especially important to people in rural areas or people in urban areas, who have difficult accessing services.”

Dr Hill, whose speciality area is speech pathology said, “People who had a stroke, Parkinson’s, these people desperately need services. So, telerehabilitation will provide them essential services.”

On asking about the awareness regarding telerehabilitation, Dr Annie said, “We are trying to do research to prove the evidence. Awareness on it is growing.”

Dr Annie Hill
Dr Annie Hill

Talking about the Indian scenario, she said, “India is facing the same kind of issues like us in terms of accessibility. There might be a perception that telerehabilitation is of high cost. While we don’t necessarily have cost effectiveness studies to say the same. There are probably some lower cost options, which might work in India. As, India has got great connectivity, there is a huge potential for India.”

She added, “Through this conference, I would like to give the message that, there is still a research need to be done in this area, especially in speech pathology in telerehabilitation. So, any collaboration established would be great. And trying to get health services to put this into action.”

Dr Hill signed off by saying, “There is a growing body of evidence for the use of telerehabilitation in speech pathology, especially in people with Parkinson’s and stroke. So, it’s about taking that evidence and putting it into services.”