Technology has had a dramatic impact on the healthcare industry in the last few years. We now have apps that can provide any number of healthcare services right on your smartphone. There are even some advances that seem like something out of science fiction movies.
Just like the rest of the healthcare industry, physical therapy is feeling these changes as well. With such advancements in technology, patients are now able to gain direct access to physical therapy in New Jersey and elsewhere, making it that much easier to stay on top of their care and live healthier lives. With some of these new technologies, physical therapists can provide better services, work more efficiently, and help patients to see better results.
Check out the following trends to see some of the ways technology is changing physical therapy.
Telehealth has been one of the most significant developments in healthcare tech over the last few years. With modern communications technology, healthcare can be accessible from almost anywhere and doctors can help to manage care even when the patient is in a different location.
Using telehealth tools, physical therapy professionals can connect with patients and help them to stay on track with their care. They can also provide patients with resources that will make their individualized care more effective. By applying this technology to rehabilitation, patients can experience better outcomes, reduce complications, and prevent the need for readmissions.
Most people view video games as simple entertainment, but there is potential for these games to be leveraged for physical therapy. Using consoles that require movement to play, physical therapists can design a wide range of potentially beneficial programs. One example is how the Nintendo Wii has been used by some physical therapists for many years.
Using video games on the Wii, physical therapists can help stroke patients, provide health maintenance for the elderly and develop programs for brain injury rehabilitation. This training has not only been shown to be effective, but it also makes the experience more enjoyable for the patient.
One interesting development is the use of smart sensors to provide information to doctors. Take, for example, the sensor-equipped suit that was developed by researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
This lightweight suit is equipped with 41 sensors to measure things like strength and flexibility in stroke patients when they are at home. With information gathered from the suit, doctors can monitor the progress of these patients and develop more effective rehabilitation plans.
Robotics is another field that is starting to have a major impact on physical therapy. A variety of robotic systems are already being used to help patients who need to relearn how to walk, and many of these systems have shown great promise to improve outcomes.
Along with helping patients as they progress through physical therapy, robots can make physical therapy professionals more effective. Robotic systems can gather information to provide a more accurate picture of the patient’s progress. Additionally, it can take some of the physical work off physical therapists when it comes to tasks like gait training.
As these technologies develop, physical therapy is only going to get more efficient and effective. Physical therapy professionals will be able to serve more patients in the time they have, and they will be able to provide better results for patients with complex issues. We should also expect to see more of these advanced tools in use at physical therapy centers in the near future.