Some cardiac rehab centers embrace telemedicine

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As the COVID-19 pandemic helped spur a boom in telehealth services, some rehabilitation centers also embraced the new format of medicine and are considering using telemedicine in the long term, The Gazette reported Dec. 15.

Usually thought of as a physical activity, cardiac rehabilitation is being shifted to a virtual mode in some facilities in Iowa. At the University of Iowa Heart and Vascular Center in Iowa City, only individuals who are classed as low to moderate risk have been taking part in the virtual program and meet with a specialist through a video feed. The center also helped provide medical equipment and exercise at home to those who needed it.

Another rehabilitation center, Cedar Rapids-based UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Hospital, said they had explored virtual options, but patient desire to return to in-person treatment and logistical difficulties stopped them. Other centers are opting for hybrid programs

"If there's one thing the pandemic is going to teach us, it's the fact that it has really accelerated health care to adapt to new models to ensure we're able to continue patient care and meet patients' needs where they're at," said Michael Powell, program manager at the University of Iowa Heart and Vascular Center.

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