Why Seniors Should Embrace Remote Monitoring for Physical Therapy

In a recently published letter to the editor in Kaiser Health News, APTQI Executive Director Nikesh Patel, PT encouraged seniors to take advantage of remote physical therapy services.

Remote monitoring allows physical and occupational therapists to monitor patient progress and ensure patients are adhering to their specialized treatment plans, improving outcomes and saving money. Particularly since the onset of the pandemic, this groundbreaking technology has enabled patients and therapists to stay connected virtually. It’s not only effective, but it’s popular too with over 75% of people saying it’s important to have the option to access physical therapists when they are unable to make an in-person appointment and remote monitoring would make it easier for them to do so.

However, many seniors who found themselves stuck at home turned to remote fitness classes to stay physically active. While this is an important option to have for some, Patel asserted that remote fitness cannot and should not replace clinically directed physical therapy that helps patients prevent injuries, improve mobility, flexibility, and balance, and greatly lower their risk of falls.

“Physical therapists undergo years of education and training to provide the best, safest care for their patients,” wrote Patel in the letter. “And while I applaud seniors for embracing online fitness classes and staying active, I also encourage them to recognize when clinically supervised physical therapy is needed to protect their safety and health,” he concluded.

In addition to appearing in Kaiser Health News’ monthly roundup of letters to the editor, Patel’s commentary was republished in over 60 newspapers across the country, including Physician’s Weekly, Tulsa World, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Buffalo News, The Lincoln Journal Star, and more.

To read the full letter, click here.

To learn more about the remote monitoring boom, click here.

To learn about some common misperceptions of remote monitoring, click here.