Janet Prvu Bettger, ScD, FAHA
Duke Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Duke Clinical Research Institute
The VERITAS Trial: Virtual Exercise Rehabilitation at the Intersection of Evidence, Implementation, and Policy
Rehabilitation; Virtual physical therapy; Patient outcomes; Physical therapy; Orthopaedic surgery; Total knee replacement; Digital technology; Telehealth
- The VERITAS trial evaluated the effects of physical therapy–supported virtual exercise compared with traditional home- or clinic-based physical therapy after total knee replacement. Outcome measures included 90-day health service use costs; patient-centered outcomes; and differential improvement from 6 weeks to 3 months.
- The Center for Connected Health Policy found that while most states currently have established telehealth policies for primary care providers, these often do not include physical or occupational therapists.
- Tele-rehabilitation facilitates communication between the patient and physical therapist in real time. The VERA™ technology provides a virtual physical therapist assistant for patients and clinicians, offering a digital interface that includes patient education, longitudinal functional assessments, telehealth video conferencing, personalized exercises, and remote monitoring of patient progress.
Study results support effectiveness and safety hypotheses: that tele-rehabilitation is noninferior to traditional physical therapy with respect to range of motion, walking speed, pain, or rehospitalization. However, it was not shown that the intervention is noninferior with respect to falls after hospital discharge.
Because virtual physical therapy interventions can save total costs, prevent readmissions, and improve mobility, it will be important to expand access to tele-rehabilitation and to advance policies that include physical therapists.
#telehealth, #pctGR, @Collaboratory1