All posts by silvia

2021, November, Successes and Failures in Telehealth Conference: Expanding footprint and improving access to care with video telehealth

Pfeiffer, S., & Turner, A. (2021). Expanding footprint and improving access to care with video telehealth, Successes and Failures in Telehealth Conference, Virtual. November 2021.


At the end of 2020 Coviu conducted a case study with their customer, Youthrive – an allied health social enterprise based in QLD, to gain a better understanding of their experience with video telehealth. 

Prior to the pandemic, Youthrive offered less than 0.1% of total consults as telehealth. During the pandemic, 60% of services were successfully delivered online.  

Along with offering continuity of care to existing clients, video telehealth enabled Youthrive to expand its footprint and deliver much needed mental health services to young people and their families in the Darling Downs & West Moreton region. Youthrive had previously considered outreach services, but was unable to do so due to travel costs. Telehealth helped remove the barriers, enabling families to receive therapy when it was needed. 

In addition, Youthrive were able to make use of video telehealth to optimise their operations and reduce waitlists. Clients waiting for in-person services at their preferred clinic are offered telehealth as an alternative with clinicians at other sites who have capacity. It gives clients a choice of appointment options and enables them to receive therapy sooner than they would be able to in-person. This is particularly important for families who require early intervention.  

Introduction of video telehealth at Youthrive also made therapy more accessible to clients. In particular to those with disabilities, families who require therapy multiple times per week and for working caregivers. At times, video telehealth reduces the need to travel, eliminating the time and costs associated with transportation. It also enables young people to access therapy without taking excessive time off school and/or work commitments. 

Overall, 40% of Youthrive’s clients advised that they wanted to continue video telehealth post-pandemic and 70% said telehealth services were working either “extremely well” or “very well”. 

Video telehealth has now become a permanent part of Youthrive’s services and more research is being done to learn how additional services can be delivered online.


Case Study

2022, October, APA Focus Conference: Technology, AI, and the future of Physiotherapy Practice

Pfeiffer, S., & Joss, B. (2022) Technology, AI, and the future of Physiotherapy Practice. APA Focus Conference, October, 2022.



Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the world we live in, allowing us to create a digitally-enabled future beyond our wildest imagination. When combined with telehealth, AI has the potential to help clinicians collect, measure and analyse data to improve patient outcomes. 

In 2019, Coviu and CSIRO partnered with leading allied health professionals to develop the world’s first AI tool for telehealth, PhysioROM. PhysioROM measures range of motion in real-time during a video consultation using nothing more than a standard webcam, enabling clinicians to objectively monitor the progress of a patient’s recovery remotely. To bring this to life, PhysioROM received support via a research collaboration grant from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. 

Today’s presentation will take you on the journey of the development and validation of PhysioROM, and the major challenges faced along the way. It will discuss the preliminary results from the extensive research undertaken to achieve accurate and reliable measurements, including how the algorithms were developed along with comparable results of the clinical trials conducted of PhysioROM versus in-person assessments – all of which were extraordinary. 

Furthermore, the presentation will discuss how legislative changes to the definition of a “medical device” challenged the nature of PhysioROM and required us to go through a regulatory approval process with the TGA for Software as a Medical Device. We’ll also share the hurdles that came with developing a novel telehealth product during the pandemic that changed the world as we knew it, forever. 

As healthcare continues to move toward a digitally enabled future, AI will increasingly play a role in supporting the work of physiotherapists, to making online therapy equal to in-person consultations and maybe one day, making telehealth better than physically being there.


2023, April, National Telehealth Conference: In the aftermath of COVID, have we hit peak Telehealth and what is the future of virtual care?

Pfeiffer, S. (2023). In the aftermath of COVID, have we hit peak Telehealth and what is the future of virtual care?, National Telehealth Conference 2023, April 2023.


The current situation in Australia was shown to be impacted by staff shortages, clinician burnout, chronic disease, and scalability issues on Slide 8 of Dr Pfeiffer’s Presentation. To address gaps in the current system, Slide 13 of Dr Pfeiffer’s Presentation proposed expanded Medicare reimbursements, better training, infrastructure & patient pathways, and more flexible working arrangements. 

Further, Dr Pfeiffer described the future of virtual care through the lens of Coviu’s measurement-based virtual care platform and the key factors to consider, being:

  • A more interconnected virtual care landscape
  • Focus on outcome measurements 
  • Patient-centred care a key driver
  • Artificial Intelligence 



2019: Early Intervention Injury Management via Telehealth

Pfeiffer, S., & Borman, G. (2019). Early Intervention Injury Management via Telehealth. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. July 2019.



Video-based triage and early intervention provide an opportunity in occupational therapy that has not seen a lot of use. This case study explains the technological setup, practical execution, and results.


There are many advantages to telehealth for triage and early intervention:

•injured workers get assessed and treated almost immediately post-injury ensuring they get the right advice in a timely manner – no matter where they are,

• their supervisors get immediate advice as to whether a worker has to stop working or what types of efforts to avoid when continuing to work, and

• the employers save on lost time and workers’ compensation injury claims.


Biosymm is one of Australia’s largest occupational physiotherapy providers specialising in early intervention injury management and ergonomic risk reductions. The company works with major retail, industrial, mining, rail, and pharmaceutical clients, many of whom operate in isolated areas across Australia. A mixed in-person and online service is provided. To make this work for the clinicians, Biosymm have integrated video consultation bookings into their practice management software. Availability is checked across all their clinicians across all of Australia and New Zealand when a patient seeks to make a booking and the appointment is immediately scheduled right into the clinician’s calendar. For the patients and employers, Biosymm have developed a branded mobile application that allows workers to join a video consultation through devices available at their workplace.

Practice implications

Since implementing video consultations for their clients, Biosymm have achieved more than a 98% stay-at-work rate compared to an industry average between 40% and 60% (WorkCover Queensland Statistics 2015/16).


Telehealth is a valid and successful means of delivering occupational therapy which is vastly underused.


2019: Telehealth and autism: Are telehealth language assessments reliable and feasible for children with autism?

Sutherland, R., Trembath, D., Hodge, M., Rose, V., Roberts, J. (2019). Telehealth and autism: Are telehealth language assessments reliable and feasible for children with autism? International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. Special Issue: The use of technology in speech and language therapy, 2(54). March/April 2019.


Access to timely and appropriate speech–language pathology (SLP) services is a significant challenge for many families. Telehealth has been used successfully to treat a range of communication disorders in children and adults. Research examining the use of telehealth for children with autism has focused largely on diagnosis, parent-implemented interventions, and behavioural interventions involving interactions between clinicians and parents. There is, however, very limited research into the use of telehealth directly to assess or intervene with children with autism. This paper reports the outcomes of a study of telehealth language assessments with primary school-aged children with autism.