Physical rehabilitation using telemedicine

J Telemed Telecare. 2007;13(5):217-20. doi: 10.1258/135763307781458886.


Telerehabilitation is the provision at a distance of rehabilitation services such as physiotherapy, speech pathology or occupational therapy. The primary aim is to provide equitable access to rehabilitation services. Broadly speaking, the technologies used for telemedicine-based physical rehabilitation can be classified as: (1) image-based telerehabilitation; (2) sensor-based telerehabilitation; and (3) virtual environments and virtual reality telerehabilitation. To date, much of the research has been technology focused, and has consisted of single case or small sample research designs. The next step is to demonstrate viable telerehabilitation services in real world environments using well controlled research methodologies with large patient cohorts. In addition, the broader issues of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness require investigation. If this can be done, then the undoubted potential benefits of telerehabilitation, for both the patient and health-care systems, can be realized.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Telemedicine / trends