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Singapore pilots telerehab to improve patient access to rehabilitation

Nurdianah Md Nur | May 8, 2017
Smart Health TeleRehab uses wearable sensors and remote monitoring by therapists to allow patients to undergo their rehabilitation exercises at their convenience.

IHiS telerehab in Singapore
Singapore's Senior Minister Chee Hong Tat (in maroon/brown shirt) visiting Chin Tian Loke's (seated) home to observe how Smart Health TeleRehab was deployed. Credit: IHiS

The Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) and T-Rehab—a startup by the National University of Singapore (NUS)—are conducting a pilot of Smart Health TeleRehab across Singapore.

Smart Health TeleRehab allows patients to undergo their rehabilitation exercises wherever and whenever convenient to them. It is suitable for patients recovering from conditions including stroke, fractures, lower limb joint replacements or amputations, deconditioning and musculoskeletal conditions.

According to IHiS, Smart Health TeleRehab uses wearable sensors and algorithms to detect and measure motor movements, enabling immediate feedback to patients on whether they are performing the exercises correctly.

A video conferencing feature is available to enable patients to consult therapists remotely too. Besides that, Smart Health TeleRehab allows therapists to review their patients' progress asynchronously via smart dashboards.

Developed together with the NUS Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, Smart Health TeleRehab led to productivity gains of more than 30 percent during a time and motion study conducted by IHiS and NUS in 2015.

The national pilot aims to capture more data on the system's effectiveness and productivity gains for different patient conditions, patient profiles and therapy treatments.

Smart Health TeleRehab is currently offered at NTUC Health and TOUCH Home Care.

By end of this year, it will also be available to suitable patients and clients of Sengkang Health @ Alexandra Hospital, Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital, Changi General Hospital, Home Nursing Foundation, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, National University Hospital, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Ren Ci Hospital, SPD (formerly known as Society for the Physically Disabled),Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Yishun Community Hospital.

"Smart Health TeleRehab could transform how therapy services are delivered in Singapore. Patients will benefit from greater convenience, cost savings and better outcomes. Therapists and therapy service providers will also benefit from the productivity improvements," said Chee Hong Tat, Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Health.


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