November 11-17 is Digital Health Week. Digital health refers to the use of information technology and electronic communication tools, services and processes to deliver health care services and facilitate better health. While digital health isn’t completely new, it has been gaining a great deal of attention over the last few years. We live in a fast-paced world, and people are seeking more services at their fingertips. Digital health is more accessible and helps to reduce costs, and research is beginning to emerge about its effectiveness.
Just under two years ago, my wife and I decided to move to Scotland for further education. While my wife was in school, I knew I was going to have to get creative with my career prospects. We wanted to be able to travel and pay the bills, and I wanted to do something “outside the box”. I started with a simple Google search: “remote occupational therapy”.
A world of opportunities emerged! Telehealth. Virtual Therapy. Digital Health. Teletherapy.
For the next month, I was laser-focused on applying to Occupational Therapy jobs in the area of digital health.
Over the next year, I practiced as an Occupational Therapist providing online therapy to children living across North America. I can’t even begin to express how remarkable I found this treatment modality to be with my clients. The results were amazing!
The following are 10 reasons you should be using digital health in the workplace.
- Clients are in the comfort of their own homes and work environments. Because of this, therapy is very specific to their functional needs.
- Clients are engaged! I lost track of how many times I heard “WOW! This is so cool!”
- The ability to leverage other technological resources (e.g. videos, digital therapeutic games) enhances therapeutic engagement.
- The ability to record sessions provides clients with a feedback loop.
- Sessions are typically completed with an e-helper (often a spouse, parent, teacher or coworker) which fosters accountability from the client and their support network. This results in far more follow through with exercises provided in treatment.
- No travel time required! Digital health eliminates the needs for long commutes to and from sessions which improves quality of life.
- Clients get access to timely service by bypassing wait times for traditional services and thereby improving health outcomes.
- It saves money! Digital health reduces the costs of services, transportation and lost time at work.
- It can be used as a preventative tool in minimizing the risk of injury or illnesses occurring in the first place.
- Research supports it! Studies are emerging supporting its superiority over conventional treatment modalities.
Here at PSHSA, we believe in stimulating emerging markets and enabling the market through technology. We have a number of innovative services that leverage technology to promote occupational health and safety.
In the coming months, we will be launching our brand new virtual platform: copilOT – Providing Occupational Therapy. At work. Virtually. This service will provide workers and employers access to services in a better, faster and more convenient manner.
Want to learn more about the role of Occupational Therapy in Occupational Health and Safety? We want to hear from YOU. Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manager, Occupational Therapy
Public Services Health & Safety Association