Telepractice Brings Speech Therapy to Patients from Hawaii to Japan

In 2005, the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, HI experimented with a telepractice program that delivered speech therapy to patients stationed in remote areas of Japan. An article in The ASHA Leader noted that prior to the telepractice program, patients had to be air evacuated from Japan to Hawaii to attend speech therapy sessions. Not only did this amount to severe travel expenses and time away from their duty stations, but the patients were rushed through a condensed, two-week-long treatment plan that was not as effective as the standard course of treatment. The Tripler Army Medical Center conducted a study in which fifty-one patients completed a pilot program assessing the efficacy of telepractice in providing voice treatment—there were no significant differences between the control group and the telepractice group in acoustic, perceptual, laryngoscopy, or patient satisfaction ratings. In fact, the patients in the telepractice group indicated that they felt very comfortable using videoconferencing technology to receive treatment.

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