Below we have provided answers to a selection of telehealth frequently asked questions that patients told us were important. Click on each of the black tab below to unravel the answer.
Telehealth is one option for receiving physiotherapy care. For many musculoskeletal conditions, it has been proven to be as effective as face-to-face therapy. Some advantages of telehealth include: the convenience (and time saving) of not having to travel to an in-person session, your physiotherapist can see your home or work environment and adapt treatment to your context, and you have reduced exposure to COVID-19 or other illnesses.
Your physiotherapist or the clinic administrator will provide you with the details of your appointment. With a video and audio equipped device (e.g. computer, tablet, or smart phone) you will be able to see and talk with your physiotherapist virtually. They will take a detailed history, guide you through an assessment, and create a personalised treatment plan.
The main difference between telehealth and in-person sessions is that your physiotherapist will be on a screen rather than sitting in front of you. They will be unable to use their hands to assess and treat you.
Hands-on care (manual therapy) is just one of method that physiotherapists can use to treat patients. Other important components of physiotherapy management include:
- Education about your condition
- Recovery and pain management advice
- Exercise and physical activity planning
- Ergonomic set up and return to work planning
- High level rehabilitation and strength and conditioning
- Running assessment
- Functional movement screening
- Activity modification suggestions
Depending on your injury or condition, manual therapy may not be effective or a recommended as part of your treatment plan even if you attended in-person.
The clinic administrator will ask you a series of screening questions before scheduling a telehealth appointment. In some cases, the physiotherapist may also wish to perform a safety screen and risk assessment in-person or over the phone prior to scheduling a telehealth appointment.
All telehealth services comply with the safety and privacy standards set by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority no different to that which is provided through in-person care. They are secure and your privacy is protected. Only your physiotherapist and their clinic will have access to your meeting details.
If the connection is interrupted or lost, your physiotherapist will call you at the number you have provided to try to troubleshoot the issue. In some cases, the consultation can be continued via the telephone or it can be rescheduled to another time.
Yes, this is your choice. For some patients this is strongly encouraged for safety reasons or to assist with assessment or to provide technology help.
You can use your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer that is camera and audio enabled. To minimise potential issues, try to ensure you have the latest version of your preferred browser (i.e. Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, Explorer). We recommend using an iPad or laptop/computer over a phone where possible because of the size of the screen.
You don’t use any data in addition to standard internet usage rates while waiting for a clinician to join you. A video consultation uses less than half of the data you would use while watching a YouTube video in High Definition*.
Lower-speed internet connections and less powerful computers will use less data but can also reduce the overall quality of the call.
* That’s about 230 MB on a mobile device, and 450 MB on a PC for a 20-minute call, which is similar to Skype® or FaceTime®