Case study –
Remote physiotherapy from Help@hand

If you’ve had an accident, operation or illness that requires physiotherapy, online support may not be your first thought. After all, doesn’t a physiotherapist need to be able to see you in person to decide the best way to aid recovery?

Here’s how Help@hand from Unum convincingly changed the mind of an employee who was unsure of the value of a consultation with a remote physiotherapist.

The role

This Sales Analyst is in his 40s. His busy and responsible role involves managing dashboards and data analysis, meaning that he spends most of his working day seated.

Following several months of unresolved upper leg pain, he realised that he needed the opinion and treatment of an expert. Because of the debilitating nature of his condition, he felt that booking an appointment with a physiotherapist at a hospital or clinic might be time-consuming, and would also possibly mean taking time off work that he could ill-afford.

Help@hand's physiotherapy service in action

The employee had access to Help@hand from Unum through his company’s Group Income Protection policy. The service provides five health and wellbeing services through a single app, including physiotherapy, a remote GP, mental health support, medical second opinions, and an Employee Assistance Programme.

Using Help@hand’s physiotherapy service, he was able to book a video appointment with a UK-based physiotherapist for the following day.

In the first consultation, the physiotherapist gathered information on his general health, wellbeing and medical history before moving on to specific questions about the condition which led him to make the appointment. Using the video camera on the employee’s phone, the physiotherapist asked him to do a series of stretches and movements so she could assess his mobility, and pinpoint where and when the pain occurred.

From this, she was able to indicate the hip joint was the likely cause of the problem. Following his initial consultation, the physiotherapist emailed a number of diagrams and videos of the stretching exercises she suggested to help his condition. She also posted a pack containing a set of physiotherapy support tools including a foam roller, a resistance band and a heat/cold patch.

A few weeks later, he made a second appointment as previously suggested by the physio. Again, she was able to assess his mobility and pain points. This showed he had made significant progress and he was able to confirm that his pain had greatly reduced as a result of the treatment.

While both parties felt there was no need for a third consultation, as a courtesy, the physiotherapist emailed three weeks’ later for a final update and to check whether he needed anything else before the case was closed off.

The employee’s view

I was initially apprehensive about using Help@hand’s online physio rather than attending in person. However, my experience of Help@hand changed my view.

The consultation was very thorough and I had confidence that the physiotherapist fully understood my issues. She was informative and polite throughout my whole experience, and I was impressed enough to even recommend the service to a colleague.

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