Recent advances in computer hardware, software, and telecommunications have made the application of distance communication to rehabilitation a possibility. By using computer/telecommunication links to send data, graphics, video, and sound between two or more sites, remote areas can access clinical assessment and follow-up services without travelling to a central rehabilitation facility. The Internet link is also used to provide on-line/interactive educational sessions. These services have been called telerehabilitation, telehealth, telemedicine, or e-Health.
The Physical Rehab Distance Communication Initiative combines research, development, education, and clinical service to implement Internet computer video conferencing solutions for physical rehabilitation. The goal of this initiative is to develop and provide appropriate rehabilitation services at the right place, at the right time, and at the right cost.
e-Learning activities use the Write-Once Publish-Everywhere approach for creating and publishing multimedia continuing education content.
This initiative is based at The Rehabilitation Centre (Ottawa, Canada) - involving the Outpatient and Outreach Rehabilitation Service and the Institute for Rehabilitation Research and Development. Many community and funding partners are also part of this initiative.