February 24 / 2020
New UAlberta project helps people in rural communities access much-needed rehabilitation services
About 24 per cent of Albertans live outside of the major cities. That means about one million people don’t have access to specialized rehabilitation services in their own communities.
This is something the University of Alberta‘s Rehabilitation Robotics Lab is trying to address with the help of telehealth technologies.
“Right now, many Albertans are at a disadvantage just because of where they live. Instead of being able to visit their local clinic or hospital, rural patients have to travel long distances on their own dime to access these same services,” says Courtenay Badran, project coordinator in the Rehabilitation Robotics Lab, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta. “Ideally, these individuals should be able to get the care they need in their own communities, so that they can comfortably heal at home.”
Tele-Rehab 2.0, a newly established project in the Rehabilitation Robotics Lab, is breaking down health-care barriers in rural communities by using technology to mediate communication between remote patients and the clinicians and urban specialists who treat them.