Opportunities for digital health explored

Richard Woolf, from the USA, and Jonathon Kruger, CEO of WCPT, conducted a lively session on Digital Health in the series of WCPT professional seminars – focussing on the benefits and challenges of delivering digital health.

With demonstrations on virtual physician and therapist consultations and research findings on patient feedback after receiving digital therapeutic support, delegates were asked to explore next steps in this field.

Key issues such as user-friendliness, technical access such as internet availability and a lack of education on digital delivery of care were all discussed. Safety too was a concern and delegates with experience of digital health explained how they detected red flags during video conference consultations.

Applications on digital devices that empower people and encourage self-efficacy were highlighted including Physiobot, a specialist app for knee problems. This prompted delegates to share their own experience of trialling patient apps in their country.

To facilitate discussion, presentations on innovations in digital health from countries including Nigeria, New Zealand, and Canada. Speakers Chidozie Emmanuel, Jonathan Warren and Dianne Millette posed questions based on their case study findings.

The delegation collaborated to help define digital physical therapy practice and understand what more needs to be done to create the right environment for both service user and provider. WCPT Congress 2019 helped begin this important conversation to explore further development in the future of healthcare delivery.