Aaron Dubrow, a public affairs specialist at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), contributed this article to Live Science’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.
The Internet has been transformational, from how we communicate with friends and family to how we shop, and more recently, how we heal. Physical therapy is the latest treatment to become telemedicine, with an experimental system now connecting specialists to patients to provide help they otherwise couldn’t get, aiding recovery from serious ailments, from broken limbs to stroke.
In an effort to connect physical therapy with wounded veterans far from treatment facilities, researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Dallas have developed a rehabilitation system that uses real-time video, 3D computer-generated worlds and force-feedback “haptic” devices to recreate a physical therapy session between a patient and a therapist, all at long distance over high-speed networks. [Man’s Best Friend Helps Traumatized Veterans Heal]