Geisinger offering virtual rehab option in hospitals

Studies have shown that cardiac rehabilitation is not an option for many patients. Geisinger hopes to make this change by offering a virtual option.

DANVILLE, Pa. — Dilip Abayasekara is a pastor in Sunbury and was at work on June tenth when he felt tightness in his chest. 

“I just felt it was a nuisance, and maybe it will pass.  I continued to work,”Pastor Abayasekara.

But the feeling didn’t end. Abayasekara felt worse. He went to Geisinger and had a heart attack.  He knew that his recovery was not easy.

“I am a very high energy person, and suddenly I felt fatigued, just tired all the time. I slept a lot. It was very unusual for me,”Pastor Abayasekara.  

Geisinger doctors advised Abayasekara to attend cardiac rehabilitation. Instead of going to the hospital every week, Abayasekara decided to attend cardiac rehabilitation. rehabHe did it virtually at his Sunbury home.

“To gain experience in using virtual cardiac rehab during this time is going to allow us to get more people involved,” said Dr. Bryan Martin. 

Geisinger’s Director for Cardiac Rehabilitation is Dr. Martin. He claims that many patients don’t attend the in-person appointment. rehabSessions are not available in person, so the virtual option is very helpful.

“Being able to do it in the comfort of your own home certainly is going to increase the uptake of cardiac rehabilitation,”He said.

Geisinger has partnered with Recora, a company that sends patients a tablet.  The patient meets their therapist online.

“My therapist was great to work with, and I could tell her primary interest was my recovery,”Pastor Abayasekara.

Dr. Martin says that people who have a heart attack are more likely to die. rehabPeople who have had a heart attack live longer than those who don’t. rehab.  

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