Technology is the future and healthcare technology is no exception. Devices that were once cost and size prohibative are becoming more accessible. Products are also getting “smarter”, with more user friendly technology. Physical Therapists are able to incorporate these technologies into a variety of rehab settings.
Motion capture technology has many benefits for Physical Therapy:
- Tag and track certain landmarks throughout movement
- Record and review in slow motion
- Assess speed, velocity, and position
- Provide realtime visual and verbal feedback to patients
Physical Therapist can use this technology in a variety of athletic and performance settings including running, pitching, and biking. Slow motion video allows for a more detailed analysis of high speed movements, which is helpful for accurate diagnosis. Athletes aren’t the only ones who can benefit from video analysis. It’s helpful for gait and balance training as well. Assisting patients recovering from stroke, traumatic brain injury, or neurological disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons, and Cerebral Palsy.
AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill
The AlterG AntiGravity Treadmill, which we are proud to own at Premier Therapy, uses air pressure to unweight your body to a specified level. The treadmill also has a series of 3 cameras and a television which allows the patient to see what we’re seeing. Using realtime video feedback and lowering your weightbearing helps to improve your walking mechanics.
Functional Electrical Stimulation
Functional Electrical Stimulation, or FES, is another tool therapist can use to assist in gait training and fall prevention. FES is used to stimulate a contraction of the lower leg muscles, and keep you from tripping as you swing your leg. This allows you focus on other things, and walk with a more normal gait.
Physical Therapist, like all healthcare professionals, are devoted to a career of continuing education. This is crucial to stay up to date with current research and provide evidence based care. Part of this involves staying on top of emerging medical techologies. It’s important that products are deemed to beneficial and safe for medical treatment. All of this technology is great, but it’s important that it doesn’t become the entire treatment. Instead, we should focus on technology being part of the plan, and assisting us in reaching your goals.