View Full Version : Now its exercise by remote control

11-Jun-13, 12:39
Sessions are 'chest' the job for patients

An innovative initiative to help people in Caithness and Sutherland who have chest problems is about to be launched by NHS Highland.
At present, physiotherapists at the Caithness General Hospital in Wick deliver a 12-week exercise programme to COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) patients.
Now, it’s planned to transmit the classes to patients in the Lawson Memorial Hospital site in Golspie – by the magic of video-conferencing.
And it’s hoped that further down the line greater use of what’s known as ‘telehealth’ will see the physiotherapy classes being delivered to COPD patients in community centres or health centres in some of the more remote parts of Caithness and Sutherland.
“A bit of blue-sky thinking has been involved here,” said Mike Flavell, NHS Highland’s district manager in Caithness. We have been using telehealth very successfully in, for example, speech and language therapy but we also see it can be used very effectively in physiotherapy."
He added: “The idea is simple: as the patients in Wick take their classes the whole thing is transmitted by video camera to Golspie, where patients will see what’s going on and take part.”
Mr Flavell added: “Not only will this increase access to what are already very popular classes, but it would also help to free qualified staff time and therefore make the classes more sustainable in the future.”

The classes, which run for up to 90 minutes, are held twice a week for around 12 patients at a time. In Caithness, they are followed up by an initiative called ‘Wick Wheezers, a self-help group of COPD patients who meet twice a week.

“COPD is a significant problem for many people,” said Mr Flavell. “We find that this exercise programme helps them greatly and we see great potential for extending its use through telehealth.”