Occupational Therapist - functional barriers

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Purpose of this document:

This document begins a list of barriers to virtual care as identified by first subject matter expert  (Occupational Therapist) after review of initial scenarios from NRC. This is not a comprehensive list of barriers. Co-design activities will help to surface other barriers related to virtual care that are not immediately apparent from an initial assessment of the scenarios.

Equipment/Platform/Internet Barriers

  1. Not having access / availability to required equipment for virtual care i.e. current and compatible computer, smartphone, camera, speakers, mic
  2. Poor equipment quality affecting audio and video i.e. external mic and headset recommended for privacy and audio quality
  3. Unreliable internet affecting all aspects of the visit
  4. Differences with mobile and desktop platforms affecting access to features and navigation
  5. Not having the ability to choose from desktop or mobile apps for access
  6. Having access to a printer to print out documentation if needed for viewing and signing

Digital Literacy/ Digital Environment

  1. Reduced technical literacy of patient and clinician
  2. Inadequate orientation to virtual environment and virtual visit process i.e. setting patient expectations, need to have a waiting room / greeter to facilitate new patients
  3. Number of different virtual platforms being used imposes challenges to accessibility due to inconsistency and unfamiliarity
  4. Locating invitation in e-mail inboxes or requests in messages lists amongst other items

Privacy and Security of Data

  1. Privacy concerns related to the online exchange of personal and health related information may reduce use and acceptance of virtual platforms on both the patient and clinician side
  2. Lack of a private and quiet space on the patient side to conduct the virtual visit


  1. Availability of caregiver assistance on the patient side (i.e. health care or tech support)
  2. Patients needing to configure and troubleshoot devices or apps

Task Requirements

  1. Difficulty positioning equipment for clinician to complete evaluation i.e. using video camera requires still hands, adequate lighting, portable camera

Inaccessible application

  1. Accessibility of apps being used in addition to the remote platform
  2. Interoperability of App with assistive Technology