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Technology that Touches Lives: Teleconsultation to Benefit Persons with Upper Limb Loss

International Journal of Telerehabilitation. 2011;3(2):19-22 DOI 10.5195/ijt.2011.6080

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: International Journal of Telerehabilitation

ISSN: 1945-2020 (Online)

Publisher: University Library System, University of Pittsburgh

Society/Institution: Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Medicine (General): Computer applications to medicine. Medical informatics

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, RTF

 

AUTHORS


Lynsay R. Whelan

Nathan Wagner

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 10 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

<p>While over 1.5 million individuals are living with limb loss<sup> </sup>in the United States (Ziegler-Graham et al., 2008), only 10% of these individuals have a loss that affects an upper limb.&nbsp;Coincident with the<strong> </strong>relatively low incidence of upper limb loss, is a shortage of the community-based prosthetic rehabilitation experts that can help prosthetic users to more fully integrate their devices into their daily routines.&nbsp;This article describes how expert prosthetists and occupational therapists at Touch Bionics, a manufacturer of advanced upper limb prosthetic devices, employ Voice over the Internet Protocol (VoIP) videoconferencing software telehealth technologies to engage in remote consultation with users of prosthetic devices and/or their local practitioners. The Touch Bionics staff provide follow-up expertise to local prosthetists, occupational therapists, and other health professionals. Contrasted with prior telephone-based consultations, the video-enabled approach provides enhanced capabilities to benefit persons with upper limb loss. &nbsp;Currently, the opportunities for Touch Bionics occupational therapists to fully engage in patient-based services delivered through telehealth technologies are significantly reduced by their need to obtain and maintain professional licenses in multiple states.</p>