New technology is everywhere, it’s no surprise to see it in Physical Therapy as well. Physical therapists are known for their innovative and improvisational nature. Examples of their creativity throughout the years include the utilization of rope and pulley systems to boost strength and optimize range of motion, integrating resistance tubing in their exercise regimens, and all of those fun activities that include stability balls.

These same professionals are discovering new and effective measures for integrating technology into their practices. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn about the utilization of technology in both Physical Therapy products and practices.

Telehealth

Your Purpose

As a physical therapist, your purpose is to assist individuals in performing targeted activities that will aid in the natural healing and recovery of the body. In doing this, you are helping your patients return to the life that they knew and enjoyed prior to experiencing the illness and/or injury that has set them back in life.

You must customize each patient’s program according to their ailments, needs, health history, and unique capabilities. While traditional regimens are highly effective, it is important that you know that technologically advanced activities are also productive in assisting your patients.

Unfortunate Changes

As a physical therapist, you are likely well aware of the fact that you are unable to spend quite as much time as you once could. This stems from changes within the healthcare system, itself. As a result, you must adapt and change your methodologies.

Much of the technology used today stems from tools and techniques to help in the healing of patients and the direct interaction that we have with those patients.

As time progresses, so will the tools and techniques that we – as physical therapists – have in our arsenal.

Smart Watch

Wearable Technology

Physical therapists everywhere are now embracing the usage of the many different wearable technologies that are currently available on the market. The world now has vast assortments of smartwatches, wearable sensors for the body, electronic cameras, and fitness trackers.

Amazingly, the wearable technology options now available allow us to have direct access to a wide assortment of information on the activities of our patients. In using these forms of technology, we are capable of conducting remote sessions with each of our patients and achieve wonderful results.

Telehealth

Beginning in 2020 with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting isolation and quarantine measures, telehealth has gained an immense amount of popularity. While it is true that patients seem to benefit more from hands-on physical therapy sessions, telehealth appointments allow a form of direct interaction with patients. We may still demonstrate proper form to our patients and encourage complete compliance.

Through telehealth, we are able to guide our patients through the physical activities that will aid in their healing and restore them to full health. Best of all, most insurance companies now cover telehealth appointments with physical therapy patients.

Girl Playing Wii
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Video Games

Most of the homes throughout the nation have access to a video game console. Many of these allow patients to engage in hands-on activities that will help their bodies heal and become stronger.

One wonderful example is the Nintendo Wii.

This system includes controllers that are motion-sensitive. Patients are capable of playing games that move their bodies in much the same manner as a physical therapy session. Many physical therapists and their patients are gaining a liking towards video games as a means of movement because it is both fun and highly engaging.

Virtual Reality Sessions

Many physical therapy practices have now started integrating virtual reality for their patients. These are tools that allow a patient to become immersed in a virtual reality environment that is highly interactive and challenging.

The movements encouraged in these sessions have been found to be highly productive in improving balance, optimizing coordination, and increasing mobility.

The in-clinic systems are becoming immensely popular – especially among practices that find it challenging to spend a lot of one-on-one time with their patients. We are sure to continue to see these systems used on a more widespread basis in the future.

Robotics

Many physical therapy practices are now starting to integrate robotic machinery into their regimen. These are not designed to replace the therapists; rather, supplement that which the therapists can do with the patients. These are highly advanced and are capable of overseeing physical activities. Many can even successfully teach patients how to walk again after severe illnesses and/or injuries.

Smart Equipment

There is an increase in intelligent equipment being used with other types of technologies in physical therapy practices. These include anti-gravity treadmills, robotics-based treadmills and exercise machines, and machinery that specializes in core body training.

Let’s take the anti-gravity treadmill, for example. It is a type of smart machine that relieves the weight of the body so that the individual may engage in low-impact exercises that will help in speeding up the process of recovering from an orthopedic-based injury and/or illness. These machines are highly efficient and their usage is covered by most insurance companies.

FitBit Technology

Mobile Apps

Mobile-based technologies is all the rave when it comes to the healthcare industry – especially physical therapy. These incorporate a list of exercises and activities that can be customized with each patient and shared. Examples of apps that are popular among physical therapists include Pocket Anatomy, PT Pal Pro, and Physioadvisor.

If you really want to get creative, you now have the capability of creating a brand-new mobile app specifically for the patients of your practice. It is now easier than ever before to create apps.

Collaborative Care

It has now been established that collaborative care is the way to go when helping patients heal, recover, and enjoy optimal health.

In 2018, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the American Physical Therapy Association created a combined statement that claimed that higher levels of collaboration would be performed for the betterment of their patients.

Now, electronic and technological advancements allow these organizations, doctors, clinicians, and specialists to easily collaborate through electronic records to assist patients. As technology continues to advance, this collaborative care technology is likely to advance, too.

It does not matter if it is through scientific advancements or technological-based advancements, physical therapists are consistently uncovering methods for advancing the treatments and care of their patients. The goal of any treatment is to improve the outcomes for patients. The new technologies and platforms are increasing convenience and engagement for all patients. These technologies help to successfully complete treatment and to directly experience a complete and full recovery.

Teamwork

One of the best strategies for ensuring patient success is teamwork and collaboration. By joining us here with the Colorado Physical Therapy Network, you have the ability to work together as a team and collaborate with one another to ensure the absolute best care and optimal outcomes for your physical therapy patients. Our network has the ability to allow you to make a significant difference in the unique manner in which you do business.

Colorado Physical Therapy Network is an independent-based practice that consists of nearly two hundred clinics throughout the State of Colorado. We act as a messenger between the clinics and the managed care payors and/or providers. Not only will you gain access to a wide assortment of clinics and resources, you will also receive the latest information pertaining to the physical therapy practice and how you can optimize it for success. Join our comprehensive network or learn more about what we have to offer.