Panel: Tommy, Karim, Dale, David

David is going through a quick recap of what has been presented since lunch. He says he’d like to open this by talking about funding, especially as it relates to talking about the broken system for paying for rehab.

One of the small things we’ve done by way of persuading the government to spend money is to show them that air mattresses could prevent pressure sores, and thus be a good investment.

I’m really impressed with this whole idea of return on investment, and it seems like it would make sense to define a guideline about what rehabilitation means economically in the long term.

Yes, and it sounds like Dale has a good start on that. I’d be interested to hear what some of the folks with SCI think would be a good ROI on their time. Rehab is a time intensive enterprise.

Reminder that Dale himself says he did rehab almost every day, for multiple hours, for 2.5 years.

What are the barriers?

We’ve just heard about a couple of good strategies … what would it take to move them into those rehab facilities.

Karim: For me the incentive to take this to the clinic makes no sense. (Nervy to admit that so openly, but we all know it’s true. Scientists aren’t in a position to do anything with their findings, except publish them.)  I have something that I feel is promising, but I have no incentive to do it. You have to teach me to do this … the whole system is built to PREVENT that from happening. We have a problem here.

We have a structural problem with a number of broken gears.

They’re not broken. The system was built for one kind of outcome, but we have to adapt it if we want a different outcome.

What drives scientists is publication. Period. Our employers pay us to do that.

At Neuroworx we’re trying to be both cautious and innovative. We don’t want to be the first or the last to try something new.

I see a distinct commonality among these presentations. Physical activity is good. How do we take that information to the government and make a persuasive case.

One thing you learn when you deal with legislators is that they’re of average intelligence, and they have their own language. If you speak their language, you get their attention. You have to incentivize them.

Another way to answer that is that you need both logic and a story.

I have to say that across Canada, I don’t believe that true, real physical rehab facilities exist. People are doing this on their own, which is wrong. It’s wrong in a big, wealthy country like Canada. It’s wrong in the USA.

I’m one of the few PTs in this room, and I think what we have to think about is the current medical model.  We who know what to do and how to do it have to go get permission from people who often don’t know these things.

And, that’s a wrap. Time for a break, followed by a set of round table discussions that won’t lend themselves to this kind of platform.

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