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Just Like the Jetsons

As we roll into December, many of us will find ourselves reflecting, looking back at the last year, and goal planning for what’s to come in 2022. Although we still haven’t gotten to flying cars and jetpacks, Tele-Rehab 2.0 has done a lot of work to be proud of. As advancements in technology continue to skyrocket, it’s got us thinking about Holoportation (which was our initial inspiration). Our goal for this blog post is to reflect and share with you our Blue Sky Dream!

What is a Blue Sky Dream you ask? It’s the biggest, wildest, most creative dream for the future. It’s about innovating and imagining to extremes as if the sky really is the limit. For Tele-Rehab 2.0 it doesn’t start with “scape pods” or the world of Orbit City, but it does start with Holoporation, and the ability to be PRESENT in a space, without having a PHYSICAL PRESENCE in a space. Holoportation is a form of technology that allows high-quality 3D models of people to be transmitted anywhere in the world…next up, teleporting?! Imagine this kind of technology, in the world of rehabilitation and healthcare. You could have the ability to be there, without being there! Make sense?... Weird concept, I know. The clinician essentially can go through an end-to-end assessment, and you can be in the comfort of your own home or a local clinic space (this is what we’ve been trying to accomplish with Tele-Rehab!).

Now a Blue Sky Dream as big as this doesn’t come freely, that’s for sure. So if we look at what is needed to bring this kind of dream to life, there are a few tech pieces that are missing right now. However, there are some technologies in the works right now that are about to be our yellow brick road, although they are currently too expensive for broad use. One of the major advancements we can talk about is continuous and accessible Wi-Fi. New satellite internet capabilities allow for high-quality bandwidth with fewer numbers of satellites, ensuring that this high-speed internet is affordable, and accessible to people no matter where they live in the world. An example of this in practice is Starlink.

Now, we know the Jetsons used what seemed like 3D printers to get their food made, but imagine live 3D versions of ourselves! What with iPads (something George Jetson used!) and smartwatches, we already have the capability to stay more connected than ever. Our big dream here is to elevate that, bring it into an industry that cares for people, and expand to the point where everybody who needs care has the accessibility they need.

Historically, we’ve viewed technology (or the internet of things) as more of a toxic interweb, or a distraction. But if we spin how we look at this, from a business and patient-centred point of view, it really has astronomical abilities to revolutionize the healthcare industry. In the past, we’ve assessed patient data by recording it, processing it somewhere else, and then analyzing it somewhere else after that. So everything is all done asynchronously, and delayed…. Why do you think it takes 3 hours for blood work results at the hospital? We need a new solution. We need an immediate turnaround time, with immediate results, and that’s the beauty of what is happening with sensors right now. They have the computational ability built right into them! So the sensor uses edge computing (real-time data analysis) to give you processed data immediately. This allows you to deal directly with processed data instead of raw data. Could this be Mr. Spaceley’s newest plan?

So, we have high performance technology, no wait times for data, the ability to practically teleport, and boom – not so big of a dream! Let’s just imagine the ability to virtually see patients, while somehow being in person, as a Holoportation image. How many people do you think we could hold space for and help? Interesting question. Another one is, who is it exactly that needs access to this kind of service? Well, people in more rural communities who may find travelling to an urban city challenging. Or elderly people with frailty and ailments. What about other groups that need to be served in more sophisticated ways? Indigenous communities come to mind immediately. We’d like to have the ability to bring our services to reserves, where we can provide Indigenous People the service they need, rather than limiting them entirely by putting restrictions on what healthcare services they do or do not have access too.

Our goal here is to create a more accessible way of assessing patients. By providing this kind of service, we can help more people, give more, and do more good.

As we wrap up 2021, we could not be more excited for what’s to come for Tele-Rehab 2.0 in 2022. We are incredibly proud of all the work we have accomplished this past year, and we are so grateful for our incredible team, including our students! Thank you so much for staying on this journey with us, and continuing to join us in the future!

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