There are lots of reasons why you may not feel confident about the idea of having an online appointment, and the phrase alone might be enough to send alarm bells ringing. So what does it even mean?
When we refer to an ‘online’ or ‘virtual’ appointment, we are talking about a physiotherapy appointment that will take place over a telephone or video call, rather than face-to-face in clinic.
Online appointments might be a daunting prospect for those who have never had one before and are unsure how to the use the associated technology. This may be particularly worrying if you are experiencing pain and need to see your physiotherapist, but are not currently able to come into clinic.
To combat this we have produced some top tips for technophobes to help you manage an online appointment.
Give it a chance
Deciding that something is beyond your capabilities before giving it a shot is something we are all guilty of sometimes.
While you may not have used this technology before, it’s never too late to learn something new.
The Ascenti Physio app was designed to be as easy to use as possible, because we want you to be able to focus on your treatment plan and recovery, rather than on the technology that helps facilitate it. We understand that our patients have varying degrees of technological ability and created our app with this in mind.
Get to grips with what you need
Make sure you fully understand what your online appointment will entail. You’ll need to have a few things sorted in order for your appointment to be successful, including a stable WiFi connection or phone signal, depending on whether your appointment is a video or telephone call.
We have published the below articles that explain more about what an online appointment is:
Scroll down to the ‘preparing for your video consultation’ section of this page for a list of everything you need to do to be ready for your online appointment.
Run a system check
To help ensure your online physio appointment goes smoothly, it’s a good idea to check that everything is functioning properly before the day of your appointment, so you have time to fix any problems.
If you're on iOS or Android
- Make sure you have the most recent version of the Ascenti Physio app installed on your iOS or Android device.
- Make sure that the Ascenti Physio app has access to your camera and microphone.
If you're using a web browser
- Make sure that you have a working camera and microphone – you can check this in your computer settings.
- Make sure you are on a modern browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Microsoft Edge. IE11 is not supported.
- Run the Physitrack Telehealth system test.
- If you get errors (in red) in the above test, see Troubleshooting Physitrack Telehealth.
Ask for help
We have put together a list of frequently asked questions which should cover everything you need to know about our online appointments.
If you are having trouble setting up your equipment or downloading the app, ask a friend or relative to help you. If something isn’t working properly email email@example.com or call our Customer Service Team on 0330 678 0850 for technical support and a member of our team will be able to help.
If you have any problems with the Ascenti Physio app on your mobile, remember you can always access the desktop version via your computer or laptop at physionow.ascenti.co.uk. You will need to log in in the same way using the access code that was emailed to you when you first booked your appointment.
Leave yourself enough time
Your appointment is 30 minutes long and you will understandably want to spend the session discussing your condition with your physiotherapist, not playing around with the volume settings or trying to get your camera to work.
Try logging in a couple of hours before your appointment starts to check that you are connected to the internet and that your access code is working as it should be. If you are using equipment such as a webcam or microphone, make sure these are plugged in and working.
Check the battery on your mobile or computer and make sure you have enough charge to last the appointment. You can leave your device on charge during your appointment to make sure.
If you experience any problems on the day, browse our frequently asked questions or contact a member of our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. By doing this a few hours before your appointment is due to start you have a much better chance of resolving any issues in time for your appointment, so you can get the most out of your online session.
Think of the benefits
When managing a condition or recovering from an injury or operation it’s really important to keep your rehabilitation programme on track. Checking in with your physiotherapist and talking to them over the phone or via a videocall can help reassure you that your recovery is progressing as it should and will allow your physiotherapist to make any necessary adjustments to your rehab plan.
It can be useful to have an appointment in your home environment as your therapist may be able to better understand lifestyle factors that are affecting your condition.
They will also be able to prescribe exercises with your home environment in mind, for example by suggesting household objects to use instead of physiotherapy equipment or suitable places within your home to carry out exercises.
And if these benefits aren’t enough, just think – you don’t need to worry about looking up directions or sorting travel and parking arrangements like you would if you were visiting one of our clinics!