With the novel coronavirus changing our lives like never before, a new type of digital revolution has taken over.
People are working from home, ordering food online and limiting travel as much as they can. However, just because one is indoors all day doesn’t mean physical health and fitness should suffer.
Therapydia, a California-based physical therapy clinic with an office in Vancouver, is offering “telehealth” physical therapy sessions for its clients.
Adria Biasi, a physical therapist at Therapydia, said the telehealth program started as a way to save clients a commute and to help them keep up at home. Now, it’s a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compliant way for the clinic to help their clients during the virus outbreak.
“The virus was a really big push for a lot of us (therapists) to start researching and implementing (telehealth),” Biasi said, explaining how she has been into the idea of telehealth for about a year now.
According to Biasi, the telehealth therapy sessions are all done one-on-one in a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant video chat.
“We use Zoom,” Biasi said, mentioning how using video chats give her older clients a chance to learn more about technology and how it can help them. “We’re seeing some patients that we might have thought would not be good candidates for (telehealth).”
Biasi said the telehealth sessions are open to everyone, not just her older clients and the sessions include more than just workouts and stretches. “I will walk them through manual therapy on themselves, not just the exercises but the education and movements,” Biasi said about her sessions. “Like, I’m having people self massage their hands.”
Biasi made mention that, along with helping clients, the new connections are keeping her healthy.
“It’s keeping me home and safe. I feel like I still have a purpose and I’m still helping people,” she said. “I have structure and routine. My patients are like my friends and family, and I would go crazy if I wasn’t able to help them.”
With everyone being at home right now, Biasi said it is possible to apply for the program online or over the phone.
“If there are people that are hesitant we can do a free consultation,” she said.
Biasi explained that each new client will go through an interview process to learn what is important to their health. Biasi and other therapists then work on a schedule and plan that fits into the client’s time. After that, sessions average about 30 to 40 minutes per client.
As for the future, Biasi said telehealth therapy isn’t going anywhere and she plans to keep offering it after the health crisis is over.
“We want to be there for our patients. Even in a normal world we’re here for people in pain,” she concluded.