innovative equipment Archives | WebPT

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3 Emerging Trends in OT Telehealth and Technology

If you’ve been to Ascend—or any business-related rehab therapy event—you’ve certainly heard this common complaint: “There are so many patients who would benefit from OT, PT, and SLP—but they aren’t making it into our clinics.” To make matters worse, we therapy professionals aren’t very good at retaining the patients who do come to see us.

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iPad and Tablet Apps for a Pediatric Occupational Therapist

We’ve all seen catchy music paired with a montage of all the awesome things you can do with an iPad. The iPad—and Apple, in general—is all about the wow factor. Not to be outdone, Microsoft has also released a pretty spiffy tablet called Surface, with tons of entertaining marketing to boot. Then there’s all the techy Android tablets, like the new Yoga and the Samsung Galaxy Note and Tab, as well as the Kindle Fire.

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Advancements in PT Tech/Emerging Trends

From vibrating posture sensors, gait-correcting insoles, and pressure-sensing socks to popular movement tracking devices like Fitbit, video game systems designed to make therapy more fun, and helmet sensors that alert athletes and medical professionals of potential concussion-causing hits, there have been a number of exciting advancements and trends in PT technology. These innovations offer new opportunities for improved diagnosis, treatment, and patient engagement.

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Are Wearables HIPAA-Compliant?

By now, you’re likely well aware of the wearables trend in health and wellness. Activity trackers like Fitbit’s devices, Jawbone’s Up (and its variations), Nike’s FuelBand, and Apple’s iWatch have popped up everywhere, giving individuals, businesses, and healthcare professionals an easy way to monitor physical activity of all kinds.

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How Do Wearables Affect Patient Engagement?

The idea of patient engagement is hardly new. But, if you were to define patient engagement in your own practice, what would you discover? Is it simply a buzz phrase? (Yeah; that’s a real thing). Or, is there more depth to your definition? According to this HIMSS study, “Even without universal agreement on ‘one’ definition of patient engagement, two truths are emerging: a patient’s greater engagement in healthcare contributes to improved health outcomes, and information technologies can support engagement.”

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Do You Dry Needle?

According to the APTA, many providers consider dry needling “a safe, easy-to-learn, minimally discomforting, and often-effective technique for patients with certain presentations.” Yet, it remains a controversial practice. Much of the concern lies in the fact that this modality involves piercing the skin; many acupuncturists would argue that PTs don’t have the expertise to perform this type of manual therapy.

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Good Vibes with VibePlate

Regardless of a patient’s physical condition, he or she can use vibration plates to support neuromuscular performance. Through proprioceptive stimulation, patients can benefit from restored joint, ligament, muscle, and fascia function. Patients also can use vibration plates as a mechanism to reduce inflammation.

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This Week in PT News, May 29

Researchers have discovered that prednisone, a drug commonly used to treat acute sciatica, is almost completely ineffective in reducing symptoms associated with sciatica back pain. In a randomized trial, 267 patients with herniated disks underwent a 15-day course of either Prednisone or a placebo pill. After three weeks, both groups reported experiencing less pain associated with their condition, with no difference between the participants who received the drug and those who received the placebo.

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