Sometimes, there is simply not enough time to do a little more for your own health. How nice would it be, for example, to participate in a professional circuit training during your lunch break, alternatively to enjoy a relaxing massage or to receive professional physiotherapy tailored to your needs? Best of all directly on site, within walking distance of the workplace and perhaps even at the employer’s expense. This could become possible immediately. Because employers know: A healthy body also contains a healthy mind, and consequently an efficient worker. This is why more and more employers are offering their employees targeted occupational health care. This not only reduces the number of sick days. It also promotes the motivation of employees and contributes to improving their general well-being. But there is usually a catch: the implementation always seems a bit complicated.
The Taunustein physiotherapist Erfan Barogh and his colleague Tamara Hanssen have specialised in exactly this topic with their unique offer. After completing his studies at Fresenius University, the former paramedic Barogh converted a disused ASB ambulance into a fully equipped mobile physiotherapy practice. The so-called Physiotruck contains everything the team needs for its work: starting with a modern therapy bed, a washbasin and gymnastics equipment, as well as aids such as oils, trigger sticks and tapes.
The interior of the car is also visually reminiscent of a small, lovingly designed physio practice: a small palm tree and the apple-green seating and lying surfaces loosen up the otherwise puristic-modern design of the furniture. Additionally, the lighting can be adapted to the individual treatment. Last but not least, quiet lounge music can be played in the background if desired.
The young entrepreneur built his truck for almost half a year. Some standards such as electricity, light, parking heater, air conditioning and cupboards were already part of the vehicle. But a lot more work had to be done. He installed a new floor, laminated the cupboards, installed LED lights, covered the wheel arches and much more. For additional installations such as washbasins or ice compartments – which Barogh and Hanssen need to be able to offer cryotherapy, for example – he used materials from the motorhome sector, among others.
ADVANTAGES OF MOBILITY
The mobility of the exceptional physio-practice offers several advantages: On site, meaning in the targeted companies, no extra rooms need to be available for treatment. The therapist himself doesn’t need to carry all his equipment to the patient or customer. Above all, however, the equipment is of a much higher quality compared to other mobile offers that work with foldable massage benches. For example, a professional therapeutic couch is installed in the truck. In addition, the team has all conceivable, necessary utensils – from the herbal stamp device to the cupping set – always available and ready for use. Furthermore, privacy is always protected in the truck – which is not always possible with other mobile offers. And of course, there is a medically clean environment here.
COMPANIES AND ORGANIZERS ARE CUSTOMERS
At the moment, the team is mainly on the road in the Taunus region. But it can imagine – if it is booked for several days – to expand its sphere of activity. Due to legal restrictions – such as the required square meters of the therapy area and the absence of sanitary facilities – Barogh and Hanssen concentrate above all on preventive measures for occupational health promotion as well as on events in the sports and health industry. And it can be pleased: The mobile concept goes down well. Currently, the team with the ingenious business model is fully booked for about a month in advance. The customers are mainly companies and organizers. But even a private prescription – if a home visit has been prescribed – could be billed via the Physiotruck. To do this, the truck would only have to be able to park on the patient’s premises. Depending on the therapy, the physiotherapist would need a 240 V power supply.
VISIONS OF MOBILE THERAPY
Barogh sees a glimpse into the future of mobile physiotherapy as follows:
When I think about the future of mobile physiotherapy, I like to think back to my original idea: During my physiotherapy studies at Fresenius University, I continued to work part-time as a paramedic. Here, I noticed that the ambulance service was often alerted to suspected slipped discs. It often turned out that this pain had a completely different cause, such as muscular tension. This became clear to me through my know-how from my studies. When a patient told me that he would be happy if therapists offered a mobile emergency service, the idea of the Physiotruck was born.”
According to Barogh, a mobile emergency service is currently not possible due to legal requirements. But he is conducting targeted talks at a political level to highlight the weak points in our healthcare system. At the same time, he also gives politicians suggestions for further developing and expanding physiotherapy through a mobile service, especially in rural areas.
If demand continues to rise, Barogh can also picture converting and using another truck. This would expand his current field of work to the Wiesbaden area. With his concept, Barogh could certainly create more jobs in the future and perhaps even bring about a change of thinking in outdated health care.