Telehealth plays key role in stroke recovery
A rehabilitation team at Geraldton Hospital has helped an elderly stroke victim learn to walk again via video link to a Perth hospital.
After suffering a stroke in June, 76-year-old Janet Cozens was walking again within three weeks of leaving hospital.
“After the stroke, my husband and I were worried I might not be fit for our trip to Tasmania, but now I think I’ll be OK,” she said.
Mrs Cozens’ rehabilitation team were able to work with a stroke specialist physiotherapist at Osborne Park Hospital using telehealth.
Teleheath involves the use of information and communications technologies to deliver health services over distances.
Using a portable videoconferencing unit called telecart, therapist Jessica Nolan monitored and supported the Geraldton team as they administered Mrs Cozens’ physiotherapy.
Geraldton Hospital’s telecart is part of the WA Country Health Service’s WA TeleStroke project.
TeleStroke senior project officer Ruth Warr said patient feedback had been positive since the project began in April.
“Patients tell us they want to be able to have their partner and children visit them in hospital and that their families wouldn’t be able to travel to Perth and pay for accommodation if they were receiving rehab there,” Ms Warr said. “They say they enjoyed the experience of doing telehealth therapy sessions.”
Monday marked the start of National Stroke Week.
Stroke Foundation chief executive Sharon McGowan said stroke was a destructive disease that attacked the brain.
“Stroke can impact anyone of any age, but the good news is more than 80 per cent of strokes can be prevented by making sensible lifestyle choices and managing blood pressure,” she said.
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