Changing expectations... Remote physiotherapy from Help@hand case study
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 whether he’d get value from a session with a remote physiotherapist.
A sales analyst in his 40s, he has a busy role which involves managing dashboards and undertaking data analysis. Most of his working day is spent seated.
Over a period of time, he began to develop upper leg pain. This continued unresolved for several months and eventually he realised he needed an expert’s medical opinion and treatment.
Yet because the leg pain had been going on so long and had become debilitating, he was worried that booking in to see a physiotherapist at a hospital or clinic might involve a time-consuming course of treatment. That could mean multiple absences from work to attend appointments he could ill afford.
Fortunately, the employee was covered by a Unum Group Income Protection policy, meaning he had access to Help@hand, Unum’s health and wellbeing app powered by Square Health.
The service provides six key services in one, easy-to-use app:
In the year to March 2022, Help@hand supplied more than 2,000 remote physiotherapy appointments to people dealing with a range of musculoskeletal concerns.
95.8% of appointment attendees in March 2022 said that their physiotherapist dealt with their concerns on the day. This demonstrates that remote physiotherapy works and that clinicians can successfully deliver physiotherapy remotely to the benefit of patients.
Using Help@hand, the employee booked a video appointment with a UK-based physiotherapist to discuss his upper leg pain the following day.
1 Help@hand is a virtual, value-added benefit service which connects the employees of Unum customers to third party specialists who can help manage their health and wellbeing, and that of their family. Access to the service is facilitated by Unum at no cost to the Unum customer. Unum is not the provider of the service but can withdraw or change the service at any time. The service is entirely separate from any insurance policy provided by Unum and is subject to the terms and conditions of the relevant third-party specialists. There is no additional cost or increase in premium as a result of Unum making this benefit available.
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 when and where the pain occurred. This allowed her to indicate that the employee’s hip joint was the likely cause of his problem.
After the session, his 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 confirmed 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 3 weeks later for a final update and to check whether he needed anything else before closing the case with his issue resolved.
Unum’s award-winning Help@hand app provides market-leading, total health and wellbeing services. As well as the remote GP that proved so valuable to Priya, Help@hand offers unlimited mental health support,2 physiotherapy, 360 Wellbeing Score assessments and a fully-integrated employee assistance programme.
Help@hand is provided at no extra cost to Unum’s Group Risk policyholders. For more information about the app and its services, or how to register and how to roll out the service visit our dedicated Help@hand page
1 Help@hand is provided to Unum Group customers by Square Health. It offers access to services designed to manage the health and wellbeing of employees and their families. Help@hand is entirely separate from any Unum insurance policy. Help@hand is not part of the insurance contract, is provided by Unum for no additional cost to its customers, and Unum can withdraw or change the service in the future. Help@hand is available to UK residents only.
2 For mild to moderate issues. Number of sessions subject to clinical appropriateness. Should the service be no longer suitable, users will be directed to alternative appropriate support.