From gamification to virtual care, physical therapy is using technology to make treatment more convenient, engaging, and impactful.
FREMONT, CA: It is impressive to see how far modern physical therapy has come since the early days. Previously physical therapy relied heavily on standard equipment, traditional methods, and the expertise of the therapist. But today the practice has evolved significantly. Following are three technological advancements that physical therapy has used to enrich the patient experience.
The medical application of interactive video gaming Wii-Hab or physical rehabilitation gamifies physical therapy exercises, adding some fun and competition to treatment. With its motion-sensitive controllers, patients can involve in games like bowling that require repetitive movements similar to the exercises they’d complete in physical therapy. As the activities are in a game format, it creates inner competitiveness that powers patients to perform better.
• Virtual Reality
Virtual reality offers a better engaging environment for patients to accomplish their physical therapy exercises. Instead of walking around a hospital, patients can walk on an outside lane with a finish line in the distance. Interactive gaming elements can also be included in the virtual reality experience for adding an immersive environment to the Wii-Hab strategy.
The CDC report says that each year, more than 700,000 people have a knee replacement, but 70% of those don’t complete their post-surgery physical therapy exercise. Physical therapy through telemedicine can encourage these patients to complete their post-surgery exercises. That too, visiting the therapist from the comfort of home, removing the commute and helping patients feel more at ease. Through the telemedicine platform, physical therapists can also walk patients through the process and prescribe exercise programs.
Through technological advancements, physical therapy is seeking new ways to improve treatment for patients, allowing them to complete treatment and experience a fuller recovery.