Technology And Physical Therapy, A Perfect Blend
When I entered the field of physical therapy in June of 2010, the extent of the technology I had at my disposal was an archaic Toshiba laptop that worked, some of the time. I also had a video camera that I could use to do video feedback with a patient, but only if the VCR and tube television were cooperating that day. Fast forward 4 years, and technology means a whole new thing to me, and impacts my workday very differently. I’m now outfitted with an iPad that I can shoot high resolution video on at a moments notice, and can attach pictures directly into a patient’s medical record at any time! Very cool stuff! I would like to briefly highlight one area in physical therapy where technology has really enhanced the experience for both the therapist and the patient.
Before the advent of the iPad or iPhone, good video feedback required very expense equipment and software (sometimes greater than $10,000!!!). In addition, the camera setup, video session, and video review was a time consuming process requiring more than one clinic staff member to facilitate. Now, in 2014, I use my iPhone 5S or iPad Air to shoot hi-res video, and with a feature rich app, can sit down with the patient and review a mechanical dysfunction without wasting any time. We can even compare video side-by-side, within the app! Finally, I email the video to the patient if he/she would like it, for comparison later on.
iPad Air, Coaches Eye App ($5), Softball player w/ back pain while batting, enough space to film the swinging motion.
One important aspect to consider while filming is your background. Do your best to choose a location that offers sufficient lighting both overhead and from behind the camera. It is pretty difficult to shoot quality footage if your background is a window.
Coaches Eye isn’t the only app available for video feedback and analysis. There are many free and paid apps available to use, and I encourage you to find what is best for yourself and/or your practice. If you have any questions about video analysis or how I incorporate technology into my practice, drop me a line below.