Telerehabilitation Technologies: Accessibility and Usability
In the fields of telehealth and telemedicine, phone and/or video technologies are key to the successful provision of services such as remote monitoring and visits. How do these technologies affect service accessibility, effectiveness, quality, and usefulness when applied to rehabilitation services in the field of telerehabilitation? To answer this question, we provide a overview of the complex network of available technologies and discuss how they link to rehabilitation applications, services, and practices as well as to the telerehabilitation end-user.
This white paper will first present the numerous professional considerations that shape the use of technology in rehabilitation service and set it somewhat apart from telemedicine. It will then provide an overview of concepts essential to usability analysis; present a summary of various telerehabilitation technologies and their strengths and limitations, and consider how the technologies interface with end users’ clinical needs for service accessibility, effectiveness, quality, and usefulness. The paper will highlight a conceptual framework (including task analyses and usability issues) that underlies a functional match between telerehabilitation technologies, clinical applications, and end-usercapabilities for telerehabilitation purposes. Finally, we will discuss pragmatic issues related to user integration of telerehabilitation technology versus traditional face-to-face approaches.
Key Words: Remote, Technology, Usability, Accessibility, Decision Factors, Decision Support.
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