Outpatient Physical Therapy – There’s an App for That!

Our clinical environment is rapidly changing with the advancements in technology. Our IT department recently provided the Outpatient Physical Therapy staff with an iPad. Thanks to a variety of medical applications now available, our therapists have even more tools to help our patients recover.

Ten years ago, motion-detection systems involved bulky systems with multiple cameras in a large room. We now have a posture screening/gait analysis program that utilizes the built-in camera on a clipboard-sized tablet that can quickly analyze biometrics and produce a report that then be entered electronically into the patient’s chart or emailed directly to them.

We are using applications for Anatomy visualization, Pain Scale Evaluation, MRI reading tools, Home Exercise Programs and even virtual environments for the stationary bike or treadmill that simulate biking through the Alps or walking on a sunny beach.

I have also been using my iPhone as a virtual Goniometer to measure range of motion. This allows me to instantly find the latest ICD9 codes or test a patient with the NIH Stroke Scale – all conveniently tucked in my pocket.

To explore iPad apps (many are free), go to the App Store in iTunes on your phone, iPad or computer and choose the App Store. Once you are in the App Store, you will see there are quite a few “Medical” apps available. With a quick search, you can discover a whole new world of inexpensive healthcare technology.

Written by: Tim Huber

To learn more about outpatient therapy, go to Outpatient Therapy Services.