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AIIMS may soon provide robot-assisted physical therapy to patients

In developed countries, robotics are the latest tools in physical therapy and rehabilitation, Ranjan said.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Physiotherapists at AIIMS may soon be providing robot-assisted physical therapy to patients.

The physiotherapy department of the institute is soon going to procure this new technology for the early rehabilitation of patients. This announcement was made on Sunday on the concluding day of the Seventh International Conference of Physical Therapy AIIMS 2018.

Attended by more than 600 delegates from different parts of India and abroad, the two-day conference was inaugurated by Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Saturday.

The participating dignitaries said the role of physiotherapists would be well defined under Ayushman Bharat as it is an integral part of the government’s wellness programme.

Choubey said the government will soon pass the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018, and appealed to the opposition to support it as the act would benefit lakhs of Indians.

Nirmal Kumar, the organising secretary, said, “With India’s ever-growing ageing population, it is inevitable for the physiotherapists to keep themselves abreast of latest trends and innovation while working with healthcare professionals and patients to provide the best treatment for early rehabilitation.”

The aim of the conference was to stimulate collaboration between clinicians and academicians. Interactive scientific programmes and hands-on workshops were conducted by renowned faculties from various fields of physiotherapy.

“The inclusion of robots in ICU’s is set to be a game-changer especially for early rehabilitation of both upper and lower limbs of the patients,” said Dr Prabhat Ranjan, senior physiotherapist, department of neurology, AIIMS.

He said people suffering from the after-effects of strokes, spinal cord injuries, trauma and other neurological and orthopaedic conditions would really benefit from the new technology and it will surely improve their physical, mental and sensory functions.

In developed countries, robotics are the latest tools in physical therapy and rehabilitation, Ranjan said.

Physiotherapists are quite upbeat after the cabinet approved the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018, that seeks to regulate and standardise education, training and services of healthcare professionals including physiotherapists, he said.

Dr Sanjiv K Jha, president of Indian Association of Physiotherapists, said, “The bill, when it comes in force, will regularise the system of registration, recognition, standard, quality of education in physiotherapy and will be able to check the unprofessional practice/quackery in physiotherapy by untrained professional.”

Experts said physiotherapy colleges have mushroomed across the country and are not as per the standards and are unable to offer quality education.