The present research investigates the effectiveness of using a telepresence system compared to a video conferencing system and the effectiveness of using two cameras compared to one camera for remote physical therapy. We used Telegie as our telepresence system, which allowed users to see an environment captured with RGBD cameras in 3D through a VR headset. Since both telepresence and the inclusion of a second camera provide users with additional spatial information, we examined this affordance within the relevant context of remote physical therapy. Our dyadic study across different time zones paired 11 physical therapists with 76 participants who took on the role of patients for a remote session. Our quantitative questionnaire data and qualitative interviews with therapists revealed several important findings. First, after controlling for individual differences among participants, using two cameras had a marginally significant positive effect on physical therapy assessment scores from therapists. Second, the spatial ability of patients was a strong predictor of therapist assessment. And third, the video clarity of remote communication systems mattered. Based on our findings, we offer several suggestions and insights towards the future use of telepresence systems for remote communication.

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