Technology

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Improving Home Exercise Program Adherence in Physical Therapy

Research shows that only 35% of physical therapy patients fully adhere to their plans of care. I’ll let that sink in for a moment, because that number is staggeringly low. It turns out that most patients simply aren’t doing their prescribed physical therapy home exercise programs—and the most common reasons cited are lack of motivation, questions regarding self-efficacy, and perceived barriers to exercise.

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Why I Ditched the Pen & Paper

I remember how excited I was in 1989 to legally be able to sign my notes with “PT” after my name. All the schooling and training was finally over, I was really proud and very happy to sign that signature. Writing a SOAP note? My pleasure. Discharge Summary? No problem.

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mHealth Strives for Mainstream

In a recent post, mHealth Insight explained that we’re more likely as consumers to drop the “health” in mHealth rather than the “mobile,” because mobile cannibalizes all things pocket-sized and digital. Anything plus mobile eventually just equals mobile. For example, camera phones and music phones are both now just phones. So, mHealth will soon just be mobile, too. Folks won’t look up from their giant touchscreen phones and say they’re “engaging with the Healthcare system;” they’ll instead say “oh, I’m just using my phone.”

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Land Before Interoperability

Politics and party lines aside, it’s tough to debate the need for improvement in the current state of US healthcare. After all, the World Health Report 2000, Health Systems: Improving Performance, did rank the US health care system as 37th. In the world. Trending downward.

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June Blog Recap

On our blog in June, we covered innovative equipment for your practice as well as some exciting WebPT announcements. Click on any of the links below to access this month’s posts. Hope you all had a fantastic June, and here’s to a great July.

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Top Five iPad Apps for Pediatric Speech Language Pathologists

Today’s blog post comes from Jeremy Legaspi, a speech language pathologist at UPWARD in Phoenix, Arizona. Follow Jeremy on Twitter @AZspeechguy or visit azspeechguy.wordpress.com.

As a pediatric SLP, I’m always looking for new ways to interact with my patients and incorporate fun into my treatment plans. The iPad is awesome because I can use it for documentation and office purposes as well as for treatment. As a big iPad fan, I have about 500 apps. Here are the top five applications I use most frequently with my pediatric patients.

1.) Custom Boards

Custom Boards

One of About.com’s “Best App for Special Needs of 2012,” Custom Boards Premium is an evidence-based app that allows you to use or create activity boards for children needing symbols to communicate and learn. Boasting over 11,000 built-in symbols from the Smarty Symbols library as well as the ability to add your own photos, Custom Boards allows you to select from a pool of templates in six areas: Devices & Switches, Grids & Boards, Schedules, Activities, Signs, and Labels & Worksheets. 

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Innovative Exercise Equipment for Today’s Therapy Clinic

Today’s post comes from Ian Kornbluth, PT, MPT, Neurac Cert., and owner of the Neurac Institute for Physical Therapy in Princeton, New Jersey. Thanks, Ian!

Today’s physical therapy clinic faces pressures from declining insurance reimbursements, increasing facility and staff expenses, and a fierce competitive landscape. But you can change the game by investing wisely in new equipment and corresponding treatment programs.

As an out-of-network provider, I offer a unique perspective when it comes to selecting equipment; I constantly search for creative ways to maximize use of my valuable treatment space and get better results for my patients while differentiating myself from the competition. For example, we embraced Pilates roughly five years before it went “mainstream” within the therapy realm. Now, we have the revolutionary Redcord system (see below to learn more) developed by physiotherapists in Norway.

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Increase Patient Performance With Dartfish

Lights, camera, action! Let’s talk Dartfish video analysis software, an ideal technology for therapists to help patients increase athletic performance and prevent injury.

Background

In an effort to further develop the digital imaging industry, five international business and IT specialists founded Dartfish (originally known as inMotion) in 1998. The once-small startup quickly grew to 50+ employees with offices in six countries and a reputation for developing innovative, interactive internet content enhancements and cutting-edge training applications for sports, education, and healthcare.

From Dartfish.com: “Dartfish offers a complete state-of-the-art digital video analysis solution to enhance patients’ understanding and the recovery progress in all areas of physical therapy. From filming a movement to illustrating an explanation with the use of Dartfish drawing tools to exchanging patient files, Dartfish delivers.”

Here’s how Dartfish is helping Olympic athletes increase performance:

 

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Surface Electromyography Gives PT Clinics a Competitive Advantage in Treatment

Today’s blog post comes from Noraxon’s Clinical Gait & Sports Performance Specialist Sally Crawford, MS, Biomedical Engineer. Noraxon is a leader in manufacturing and distributing high-end tethered and wireless surface and fine-wire electromyography (EMG) instruments, software, sensors, and accessories.Thanks Sally!

Surface electromyography (SEMG) offers therapists a goldmine of measurable patient data, including muscle recruitment, imbalances, timing patterns, pre- and post-treatment differences, and training successes. Having access to such a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use system allows clinicians to wirelessly measure muscle activity and precisely evaluate patterns in functional movements. In our current therapeutic environment, where competition and the pursuit of athletic excellence are more extreme than ever, SEMG gives clinics a competitive advantage in treatment.

Figure 1: Dynamic Activity with Direct Transmission SEMG, transmitted to a laptop on the track.


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Not All Internet Connections are Created Equal

There are several types of internet connections out there. We’ve got lightning fast as well as the slow and not-so-steady. One thing is for sure: no connection is like another. So what are the differences? And which one is right for your clinic?

Connections

Dialup, which runs over telephone lines and relies on modems, is the slowest type of Internet connection. As GlobalCom puts it, “this is the grandpappy of internet connections.” While dialup is generally more accessible (especially in rural areas) and inexpensive, the connection does occupy a phone line and requires a lot of patience. Be prepared to spend a lot of time waiting for pages to load. Sites with interactive forms, images, streaming music, or videos will most likely not load at all.

3G/4G (wireless cellular internet) is available through cell phone providers and typically on smartphones and tablet devices. Many mobile devices, though, have a “hotspot” feature that, when enabled, emit an internet signal. This allows other internet-ready devices, like your laptop, to connect to 3 or 4G. While this internet connection is convenient, speed and connectivity are common issues. Because every cell provider customer is tapping into the same connection as everyone else, 3G and 4G speeds aren’t that much faster than dial up.

Satellite is faster than dial up and offers good connectivity. However, this connection is quite expensive—too expensive for home users or small businesses. Additionally, because satellite internet connects with satellites, activity issues similar to those experienced with satellite TV can occur.

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Mac vs. PC: Which side are you on?

As the war between Apple-ites and PC-ers rages on, it’s easy to get caught in the middle. If you’ve already put your stake in the ground, no snarky web images, clever TV commercials, or humorous print ads are going to sway you. But if you’re a computer newbie or looking for a change, the competing messages can be more than a little overwhelming.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last twenty years, you’ve probably been inundated by the Mac vs. PC personas—Mac is the cool kid, pretty boy, hipster, hacker, designer (think ripped jeans and a t-shirt) where PC is the grown up, serious, focused, business-minded analyst (think three piece suit and, just maybe, a paisley tie).

Kelly Ford, Content Lead for Hunch, Inc., examined differences between Mac and PC people in their self-professed aesthetic preferences, media choices, and personality traits in her article “Mac vs PC People: Personality Traits & Aesthetic/Media Choices.”

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