Televisits offer a glimpse into the future of medicine

Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute one of many medical groups offering virtual visits

More patients and doctors are using telemedicine

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Since the coronavirus pandemic began, many people have had to cancel plans and appointments including medical visits.

But some medical professionals are adapting, including one local physical therapist who is seeing patients via televisits.

Physical therapist Ehren Allen met with a patient virtually this week.

“I want to see how well you can move your shoulder,” Allen said to the patient using a video chat system. “Your range of motion looks pretty good today. How’s the pain?”

Since the COVID-19 outbreak started, the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute began offering patients who were previously evaluated in their office to continue care online using televisits.

“I have some issues in regard to strength in my upper body to take a couple of sessions at JOI, which helped, but I needed further ones and then my age and risk for the virus. I needed to shelter in place and this video conference has really helped to continue me on the line I need to go,” said patient Dan Reese.

Allen said the office has older patients that are high risk due to complicated medical issues so he wants to make sure to offer the same therapy service to them, or at least a version of physical therapy if they can’t come safely.

“We still offer in-office visits for those who are lower risk and need more hands-on therapy,” he added. “The downside to this is we can’t do manipulative or manual therapy we do in a lot of settings.”

Allen said that even though many of the televisits come out of necessity, the medium is a growing option throughout the healthcare system.

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