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Top Tech Tools for Rehabilitative Healthcare Professionals
By: Nataliya Zlotnikov, MSc, HBSc

Tech Talk

Alright, now that we are done amusing ourselves for today - apologies if you were not amused but it is the best I could do. Let's return to the very relevant topic at hand and how it can make your healthcare practice even more stupendous. 

This blog is the second half of our Top Tech Tools Series, focusing specifically on tools for the rehabilitative healthcare professional.

The first half of this blog series, Top Tech Tools to Improve Efficiency for Your Practice During COVID and Beyond, covers tech tools relevant for all practices or businesses, be sure to check it out to learn about the tools that can make your business more organized, efficient and productive. 

Today's Blog Will Cover: 

  1. Technologies for assessment and education - anatomy
  2. Technologies for assessments - ROM 
  3. Technologies for treatment 
  4. Advances in rehabilitative technologies 

Today's blog is based on the very organized, scientifically-grounded online healthcare course from Dr. Mirella Veras offered on Embodia, Introduction to Technologies for Rehabilitation.

If you would like to learn more from this course, such as the science supporting the use of this tech, as well as about other technologies for treatment, we invite you to check out this wonderful course.

Click Here for the Full Course 

 

In This Course You Will Learn:

How rehabilitation technologies shape and redefine rehabilitative care as well as  how rehabilitation technologies enhance your clinical practice through:

  1. Patient care
  2. Diversity of assessment tools
  3. Different resources to provide treatment and delivery of care
  4. Advanced tools for patient education and self-care
  5. Evidence-based health technologies resources that will help with decision support tools for clinicians


I. Technologies for Assessments and Education - Anatomy

Let us start with the most fundamental, anatomy. 

These body anatomy apps can be used for educating or assessing your patients. They are fantastic tools for all professionals working in the rehab field as well as for rehab students. 

1. Essential Anatomy (3D4 medical)

Contains 4,000 highly detailed anatomical structures. Each structure contains an audio English pronunciation and Latin nomenclature, along with a detailed description. Navigate directly from the model or use the search function to intuitively find structures easily. Helpful comparison tools allow you to isolate individual or multiple structures and compare them with others. Bookmarks allow you to create and save custom views. Available for iOS or Android.

2. 3D Anatomy

A true and totally 3D app for learning human anatomy built on an advanced interactive 3D touch interface. In this app, you can rotate models to any angle and zoom in and out, switch on/off different anatomy systems, search the name of anatomical structure and reveal the 3D location and load and save views (bookmaker function). You can also take 3D location quizzes to test your knowledge or use the virtual dissection option. Both male and female reproductive systems are available. Audio pronunciation for all anatomical terms is available. Support for this app comes in French, Spanish, English and German. Available for iOS or Android.

3. Pocket Anatomy

Fly around the human body with a swipe of your finger. Search through 1000s of anatomical structures and system layers including skin, skeletal, connective tissue, muscular, circulatory, digestive, reproductive, lymphatic, respiratory, urinary and more. Available for iOS or Android.

4. Muscle Trigger Points

A Reference for the most common trigger points and referral patterns for over 70 muscles. Features 100+ trigger points with their corresponding referral patterns. Each muscle includes the visual referral pattern and point location, plus a written muscle action, referral and comments for each muscle. You can choose to view each muscle individually, or use the zones view to see all the muscles that refer into a specific area, a great help in discovering the source of pain.

Dr. Veras suggested this app as the first one to keep on your radar. It is a great place to start if you are not used to using apps for healthcare, but, even as an advanced user of apps, you will find this app useful for assessment and patient education. Available for iOS or Android.


These anatomy apps were the ones that Dr. Mirella and her clinic tried out (the last one - Muscle Trigger Points) was her favourite. I personally, have been using Essential Anatomy (3D4 Medical) for years and love it! However, I am now so excited to try out these other ones as well.

We also invite you to try out other apps and tell us which ones you love!


II. Technologies for Assessments and Education - ROM

The apps mentioned in the following category have been identified by Dr. Veras as having studies supporting their use in clinical practice. 

If you would like to see the research supporting them, we invite you to take a gander at her online healthcare course on Embodia.

View the Research


1. Goniometer Pro (G-Pro)

G-pro can provide easy and accurate range of motion (ROM) readings. G-pro has been designed in collaboration with health care providers in an effort to develop an easy to use and reliable ROM measuring tool. It has been successfully tested in orthopedic, chiropractic, and physical therapy practices. And can also be used for sports medicine, rehabilitation, radiology, engineering, architecture and more. Available for iOS or Android.

2. GetMyROM 

Created by a physiotherapist after dropping and breaking their bubble inclinometer. The cost for a new one was $50 so they decided to develop this app! The app has been found to be valid and reliable. Available for iOS or Android.

 

III. Technologies for Treatment

1. Embodia for Home Exercise Prescription (HEP) and Embodia Academy

Oh hey look, it's us! Embodia has many features to help you with your patient treatments. The first, Embodia for Home Exercise Prescription (HEP) provides the practitioner with over 2000+ high definition exercise videos (print-friendly versions available). Clinics also have the option to create a private, branded library of content! 

Our HEP also allows you to record your patient in session, track and monitor patient data and outcomes and communicate with your patient electronically and easily all through one platform. 

Take a look at our free course, Embodia for Home Exercise Prescription to learn more about how to use HEP.


Another feature offered by Embodia is Embodia Academy, your one-stop shop for healthcare continuing education. Although Embodia Academy does not 'directly' help you with treatments, we believe that education is the key to more informed and effective treatments and improved patient outcomes.

Our always-expanding library allows you to choose from over 800 online healthcare professional courses, engage in discussion forums, and join a live online training session of your choice.

2. Jintronix Motion Sensing

Jintronix is a breakthrough technology that transforms therapy exercise into a fun and interactive experience. A comprehensive rehab system, Jintronix includes therapeutic games, functional assessments and real-time data tools. 


IV. Advances in Technologies for Rehabilitation

The future is here - robotics is now becoming an integral part of rehabilitative care. For many of them, there is a Class I Level A level of evidence. 

Currently, there are two main types of rehab robots:

  1. Substitutes for Lost Limbs: For example, the assistive robotic manipulator, which is a wheelchair mounted robotic arm that is controlled using telemanipulation such as using a chin switch or other device. 
  2. Rehabilitator: Also known as a therapy robot. These robots allow the patient to perform and practice movements aided by the robot.

In addition to these two rehab robots, robotics exoskeletons are also used (hello every sci-fi movie). These exoskeletons consist of a wearable suit with anatomically aligned motors. It provides overground gait training, is fully upright in weight-bearing, has a reciprocal gait, is initiated by gait shift, provides biofeedback, and is battery powered.  

If you enjoyed Dr. Mirella Veras' course, we invite you to click below and take a look at some of her other online healthcare courses on clinical Tai Chi available on Embodia.

Learn More with Dr. Mirella Veras


We Live in an Exciting Time!

Although most of us may not be using exoskeletons in our immediate future, we would definitely benefit from using some of the other tools and apps discussed in today's blog. 

The future is now, and it is such an exciting time to be alive!

Dr. Mirella Veras
PT, PhD

Physiotherapist, Cochrane author, researcher and founder of Liveby Tai Chi System of Balance, Pilates instructor and pregnancy and postpartum exercise specialist. She is registered physiotherapist with a postdoctoral in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Montreal with more than 20 years of experience as a physiotherapist, including as a clinician, consultant, professor, and coordinator of health services. She is author of the book Evidence-Based Tai Chi for Rehabilitation and Wellness: A System of Balance for Clinical Practice.”

Dr. Veras has worked with a diverse population, including all age groups and varied diagnoses and she says: “Through my clinical experience and research, I have learned that exercise is one of the most powerful clinical tools available to health professionals who have an interest in working with human movement. It is also one of the best self-management tools for patients to prevent and treat disease.” She also added: “ I have a passion for exercise, My passion for exercise guided me to learn tai chi because I realised the potential of this discipline for rehabilitation and wellness.” and “ As a scientist, I researched the evidence based benefits of tai chi for several health conditions in different areas such as musculoskeletal, neurological, pelvic floor, as well as mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. This knowledge gave me more confidence to continue my journey with tai chi in my physiotherapy practice.”

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