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Telerehabilitation succeeds at Hospital Parc Salut Mar, Barcelona.

 

In 2018, Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar opened a new rehabilitation area: 1,000 m2 covering all faces of rehabilitation in the locomotor system and neurorehabilitation. In 2021, the second phase of the hospital’s remodeling began, which will be completed by the end of 2023. But this redevelopment is not just about building: part of the budget from the European Next Generation funds will be used for digitalisation. 

The Covid pandemic helped them to adapt their strategic plan for the hospital’s redevelopment to the lessons learned and to turn it into a digitized, versatile center that can easily set up separate circuits. In this way, they will be able to fulfill their objective of becoming an innovative organization, focused on proximity care for the entire reference population and differentiated to offer comprehensive and quality healthcare in all areas of activity. 

“Covid changed everything and in 2021 we had the need to reduce the presence of patients,” says Esther Duarte, Head of the Rehabilitation Service. 

 

“We realized that a rehabilitation platform could really help us to reduce both medical visits and therapy sessions.” 

 

Dr. Duarte began her professional career as a resident doctor at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital. In 1988 she joined the Parc de Salut Mar, which at that time did not even have that name. For the last 5 years, Duarte has held the position of Head of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service at the Hospital de la Esperanza, one of the 3 centers of the Parc Salut Mar, where they have their own beds for the service. During her more than 30 years at Parc Salut Mar, Esther has held different positions as head of the neurological rehabilitation unit, treating patients with sequelae of stroke. She also coordinates her own research group. 

In this interview she wanted to share with us the impact that the implementation of our ReHub telerehabilitation platform has had on her centers. 

 

In 2021, covid brought the world to a standstill and, as in many hospitals, it was necessary to reduce attendance. Care came to a complete standstill, no outpatient rehabilitation sessions could be held and only a few patients were admitted. Attendance was resumed in dribs and drabs. 

“That’s when we realized that a telerehabilitation platform could help us to reduce the number of medical visits and therapy sessions. However, various obstacles prevented the adoption of platforms for this purpose.

 

After consulting 300 patients, the virtual consultation stays. 

 

After the pandemic, the hospital asked 300 patients in a survey how satisfied they were with digital consultations and whether they should continue after the pandemic. To the surprise of the professionals, the patients were satisfied with the implementation of this technology and asked for its continuation because of its benefits, especially in terms of travel savings. 

“After looking at many platforms, we came across ReHub. It convinced us because it allows us to address all the pathologies we deal with in the service”

Dr. Duarte explains how, after the end of the pandemic, the hospital decided to continue to invest in digitalisation: “After looking at many platforms, we came across ReHub. It convinced us because it allows us to address all the pathologies we deal with in the service. It is very versatile and allows us to add our own content. What really convinced us was being able to track the patient’s progress remotely,” says Duarte. 

Within the platform you will find more than 1900 exercises and 200 preconfigured groups of exercises to quickly design your patient’s therapy. You can also create your own exercises and groups!

Prescribing exercise with ReHub makes it possible to reduce the number of in-person sessions. Some pathologies, such as low back pain or low-complexity neck pain, can be treated almost entirely with exercise.

“We realized that by prolonging rehabilitation supervision and also encouraging patient self-responsibility. We didn’t do everything to them, the patient felt involved in a much more active way”.

As the Head of the Rehabilitation Service at the Hospital de la Esperanza explains, digital rehabilitation tools encourage the patient to become involved in their recovery. In addition, ReHub’s artificial intelligence technology allows the patient to perform the exercises from their mobile phone, tablet or computer in mirror mode and receive corrections in real time. 

“ReHub convinced us because unlike other platforms that are applicable to a very low percentage of patients, it allows us to address all the pathologies that we treat in the service,” says Duarte. 

It is very versatile and allows us to add our own content. What really convinced us was being able to track the patient’s progress remotely. 

The Parc de Salut Mar decided to implement ReHub by creating a small group of patients led by two physiotherapists and two doctors, with the aim of making specific diagnoses and gradually expanding ReHub’s user base.  The idea is to use it for as many diagnoses as possible.

 

Which patients have benefited the most or which diagnoses have had the best results thanks to ReHub? 

 

Esther reveals – “The most remarkable experience, where we have had the most positive and clear results is the physiotherapy intervention in patients who are on the waiting list for bariatric surgery due to morbid obesity.  These are patients for whom dressing in sports clothes and going to a rehabilitation center is an uncomfortable exposure. However, the fact that they can do the exercise at home with monitoring makes them very grateful, they work more comfortably and adherence is increasing.

ReHub is not intended to replace the professional or face-to-face therapies, but is a tool to help the professional. 

We asked Dr. Duarte what models of rehabilitation they use with ReHub and she discovered that the most frequent modality is the hybrid one.

“We have a treatment modality when the physiotherapist does not have to treat the patient individually but the patient comes to the center to perform exercises, which we call mechanotherapy. 

In this modality the physiotherapist supervises several patients working simultaneously, in this case we are not substituting but we are prolonging the therapy. For example, the initial potentiation or proprioception sessions are carried out at the center and then the professional programmes the exercises so that the latter can be carried out at home. 

ReHub’s flexibility allows the rehabilitation to be personalized for each patient and, as Esther says, it has different use cases.

 

ReHub can be used in

 

  • Remote sessions: The professional programmes the personalized therapy, the patient performs the exercises from home receiving feedback in real time thanks to artificial intelligence and the professional can monitor progress.
  • Face-to-face sessions: Using ReHub in mechanotherapy sessions can help provide accurate assistance to several patients simultaneously.
  • Hybrid sessions: Conduct face-to-face sessions that require therapeutic intervention combined with therapeutic exercises programmed for the patient to perform from the comfort of their own home. 

In less than 2 weeks you can have ReHub implemented and offer a new, safe and high quality care model. Start now and reduce the pressure of care in your hospital with a new concept of rehabilitation and treat more patients. 

 

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