Tele-Rehabilitation : A New Dimension to Community Based Rehabilitation

Tele-Rehabilitation : A New Dimension to Community Based Rehabilitation

Tele-Rehabilitation project – SAMBHAV is a dream project by Jan Vikas Samiti, Varanasi- Liliane Fonds and Groot Klimmendaal of Netherlands. The project “Sambhav” aims to capacitate CBR facilitators on rehabilitation diagnosis, making custom made treatment/rehabilitation plans and providing appropriate therapies to the children and youth with disabilities who are most in need in the rural parts of Northern  India. The project proposal was approved and an agreement was signed in December 2015 between Liliane Foundation and Jan Vikas Samiti. It is a joint dream of Jan Vikas Samiti- Liliane Fonds and Groot Klimmendaal of Netherlands.

In the context of telemedicine, a patient survey predicts that 75% of all patients expect to use digital services in future.75% of the country’s healthcare infrastructure is concentrated in urban areas while more than 75% of the population lives in rural areas. The majority (69%) of the persons with disabilities resided in rural areas. 71 % of children with disabilities lived in rural India and facing a range of barriers. Looking into an opportunity to serve the poorer and marginalized section of the community and demand of the time, Jan Vikas Samiti started a project called “Sambhav” telerehabilitation for individuals with disabilities.

Telerehabilitation unit (ICT) is providing guidance for the physical rehabilitation service to selected Partner Organisations (POs) from 5 states of India namely Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh under in this project. A protocol for the physical rehabilitation diagnosis/planning of children with developmental disabilities is made in the headquarter of  JVS  to help the selected partner organizations to develop their capacities in the term of providing quality physical rehabilitation service. To provide better Telerehabilitation service delivery, regular training programs conducted for the selected CBR workers from the Partner Organisations (POs) on video filming and the use of rehabilitation protocol. Web portal and Mobile app on Telerehabilitation is prepared by JVS and provided computer systems and Tabs as well as preloaded apps to selected CBR workers for appropriate service delivery to their respective areas using the Store and Forward (in which after video shooting, it can be stored and at the time of need can be forwarded to the JVS headquarter for intervention planning ) method of technology which is quite practical and suites well to the concept of telerehabilitation. Rehabilitation professional at JVS Telerehabilitation unit regularly receiving videos of CWDs and assessed and with treatment protocol/rehabilitation plan send back to the POs.

Telerehabilitation service delivery will give the best benefit to the end-user (i.e., an individual with a disability) within their environment. It optimizes the timing, intensity and duration of therapy that is often not possible within the constraints of face-to-face treatment protocols in current health systems. From the inception of the program in mid-2018 to December 2019 more than 200 Children with disabilities assessed and their rehabilitation plan has been made in the pilot phase in the 5 states. As per the midterm evaluation report, POs are now able to provide quality intervention in remote areas according to the physical rehabilitation protocol.

For a thorough understanding of the project, the documentary on Tele-Rehabilitation project “Sambhav” can be seen in You Tube on the following link.

Tele-Rehabilitation Project by Jan Vikash can be seen as one of the best practices in Disability Rehabilitation in India and can be studied and replicated by other organisations.

By: Hira Nand, Project Officer-Tele-Rehab, and Fr. Chadran Riymonds, Director, Jan Vikas Samiti, Dharmalpur, Murdaha, Varanasi-221202+91 6394785053

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