Is Tele Physical Therapy in Your Future?



Patients or clients that have a great difficulty making it in to their physical therapy appointments, or do not follow their in-home exercises – have been shown to have poorer health outcomes. We often hear the mantra “compliance = outcome” from our Physical Therapist (PT) friends.

Two common causes for difficulty in making it to appointments are coordinating transportation from others, and/or distance. Patients that travel long distances may be exhausted from the travel, and therefore not able to complete their exercises while under the observation of their PT.

Some patients struggle with remembering what exercises to do, and how to perform them correctly. And just like music teachers, PTs know in the first few seconds of the next appointment if their patient has been practicing. Unlike music lessons that only hurt ears, (depending on the situation), lost exercise practice can lead to a slower recovery, scar tissue formation, or not reducing the use of pain meds.

PT’s often tell us that they envy that their Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and Occupational Therapist (OT) counterparts because they have all kinds of cool tools to aid in remote diagnosis and support of their clients.

Remote rehab is here!

New, evidence-based research suggests that many of these PT issues may be addressed via the appropriate use of technology.

MobilityCoach helps people stay active, especially after having joint replacement. The video shows how the PT models the exercise (stick figure in upper left) as the patient (video in upper right) follows along. Their frame is rendered into a digital stick figure, and the repetitions and range of motion are measured and reported.

While originally developed to help people after a knee or hip replacement, MobilityCoach can be customized for other exercises. This could be helpful for individuals who tend to live a sedentary lifestyle and need encouragement.

This can be especially helpful when coupled with a “Star Reward” system, where the individual earns points or money for their favorite activities.

Click on the following link to see a brief video on Mobility Coach:

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