Technology is changing everything, and the world of healthcare has seen some of the biggest changes in recent years. In particular, the physical therapy industry has benefited from many technology advantages over the past couple of years. Below are some of the top ways that technology has improved the level of care that physical therapists can provide patients.
An increasing number of physical therapy facilities are using the power of robotics to provide care to patients. Robotics are especially useful when it comes to teaching a patient to walk or balance. The machines that physical therapists employ also have the ability to accurately detect a patient’s progress. This data can be used to track how quickly or slowly a patient is recovering which helps the therapist develop a treatment plan that benefits the individual patient.
Research is extremely important to physical therapy, and technology has improved the way that researchers can gather and analyze data. In particular, Electronic Clinical Outcome Assessments (eCOA) gives researchers and doctors the ability to use tablets and other smart devices to conduct research. The technology especially makes it easy for patients to report information to doctors. For example, a patient can report the level of pain they are experiencing, and doctors receive the information instantaneously. Powerful sensors have made it possible for researchers to gather more accurate data than ever before. The sensors are attached to clothing, and they help detect things like flexibility and strength.
Healthcare professionals have talked about telehealth for years, but today it is something that can actually work due to advancements in internet service. Many patients do not follow through with their exercises after they leave physical therapy. As a result they never fully recover and may find themselves back in the hospital eventually. Telehealth is a relatively inexpensive way for physical therapists to keep in touch with their patients after they leave therapy. When a patient communicates with her doctor, she will feel more motivated to exercise and follow the doctor’s recommendations.
Video games are typically thought of as something that children play. However, more physical therapists are using them to help patients recover from injuries. Some game systems have games that require players to move their bodies as they play. These games are useful tools for physical therapists who need to help patients regain their balance. Plus, playing a videogame is a lot more fun than tradition rehab activities.