COVID makes the case for telehealth

The effects of COVID-19 have impacted the way many health services operate and deliver care to patients, with the majority incorporating aspects of telecommunication technologies. Telehealth services have become more important in continuing to help the recovery of people injured in motor vehicle crashes, particularly during the pandemic and for those living in rural areas where access to health services can be difficult. To ensure that the quality of clinical practice and continuity of care is maintained, education and research into the use of telehealth is extremely important.

Under the MAIC-funded Recover Injury Research Centre at the University of Queensland (UQ), Professor Trevor Russell and his team have been researching many aspects of care delivered via telehealth including clinical effectiveness, core clinician competencies for telehealth delivery within physiotherapy and the uptake and impact of telehealth services during the pandemic. The team have also developed a telehealth curriculum called ‘Telehealth for Clinical Practice’ which has been embedded into health-related programs at universities and hospitals.

“This curriculum provides current and upcoming health professionals comprehensive training in the use of various telehealth technologies and gives them the knowledge and skills to be able to deliver the same quality of care that otherwise could have been provided in-person,” Professor Russell explains.

Professor Russell has also focused on the use of other technologies to optimise rehabilitation for injured claimants. Using immersive virtual reality and mobile-phone based applications, clinicians can gamify rehabilitation programs to facilitate the self-management of symptoms in a way that appeals to all ages. These mediums allow patients to more effectively engage with their rehabilitation program in the comfort of their home.

Insurance Commissioner of MAIC, Neil Singleton, is proud to support the work of Professor Russell and his research team. “We are dedicated to supporting the changing needs of people recovering from injury from motor vehicle crashes. This research into technology-enabled rehabilitation and telehealth is critical to ensure a high quality of care is maintained in the context of COVID-19 and a geographically-dispersed community.”

Learn more about the research initiatives we support.

Last modified 28 January 2021

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