The Future of Physiotherapy

Whether it’s in physiotherapy or any other industry, technological advancements have been changing the game for years. Decades ago it was unthinkable to have a phone without a cord or a computer smaller than a small room, and today we have both— right in our pockets! The future has always been coming, and with the technology we have available to us today, it’s changing faster and sooner than ever before.

When it comes to physiotherapy, technology is reshaping its future one day at a time. So what does the future of physiotherapy look like at the moment, and what could it look like even farther down the track?

This article discusses the technological advancements playing a role in the future of physiotherapy. For personalised advice, contact our team at Powerhouse Physiotherapy today.

Types of Innovation Changing Physiotherapy As We Know It

Even if you’re not currently working with a physiotherapist, technology may be assisting you in your upcoming journey without you even realising! With the way technology is woven into our everyday lives, some innovations you may already be familiar with, and some you may have heard of, but don’t see how they could relate to physiotherapy.

These technologies include:

1. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) technology is like stepping into a whole new world. It aims to create lifelike environments where people can perform their exercises as if they really were in that environment, whether it be a sunny beach or anywhere else they feel most at ease. This may make exercising more fun and exciting for patients and help them stay motivated and engaged, making them more likely to stick to their treatment plan and aim for the best results possible.

Virtual reality technology also allows physiotherapists to customise treatment plans based on every patient’s unique needs. For example, a patient with a knee injury may benefit from virtual stair climbing in an effort to improve their balance and stability. This offers a place for patients to practice functional movements in a controlled setting and aims to ultimately translate to better performance in the real-life versions of these situations.

2. Wearable Technology

Most of us are familiar with wearable devices, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers. These are changing physiotherapy by offering real-time monitoring capabilities that aim to enhance patient care, and may ultimately play a role in improving treatment outcomes. These devices essentially work like personal health assistants, offering valuable data that is important when it comes to tailoring individual treatment plans.

Wearable technology like smartwatches and fitness trackers may also help patients stay engaged in their physiotherapy journey, much like virtual reality. This is because the real-time information these devices give may work as a motivator, for example, being able to see how many steps they’ve taken that day. Every day is an opportunity for a new high score!

3. Robotics

Robotics have been assisting in healthcare for many years, providing precise and controlled movements. In physiotherapy, robotic exoskeletons assist patients in performing specific movements and exercises with the aim of ultimately enhancing their mobility and strength. With this, physiotherapists have a greater ability to further tailor individual treatment plans for every patient.

Robotics also opens up new possibilities for people with disabilities or severe injuries by assisting them to engage in exercises that may have been previously impossible. While robotics, like every other area of technology, is still evolving, the ultimate aim is to help patients to regain as much independence as possible and improve their quality of life.

4. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is something we’re all becoming more aware of as we move through the 2020s. Using algorithms, AI looks for patterns and connections in data in just about every field. In physiotherapy, it aims to help physiotherapists better understand what every patient needs, as every patient is unique. With the information AI can give, physiotherapists are better able to make better, more informed decisions about the treatments they offer, ensuring a better quality of care for each individual.

5. Telehealth

Whether you’ve had a Telehealth appointment before or know somebody who has, this technology has only become more and more popular since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telehealth allows practitioners such as physiotherapists to offer virtual consultations, where patients connect with their therapist over a video call on their computer or mobile phone. This means patients in rural or remote areas have better access to physiotherapy than they may have had before, no matter how far they live from a physiotherapy clinic. Telehealth aims to allow patients access to the support they need more easily, making it more convenient than ever.

6. 3D Printing

3d printing has changed how devices such as orthotics and prosthetics are made, making it possible to create custom-made devices for each patient. With precise digital models, 3D printers are able to physically make these customised devices— and often in a much faster timeframe than how they used to be made. The customisation of the devices themselves ensures not only comfortability but also functionality, aiming to assist patients to become more mobile in less time and to improve their overall well-being.

7. Apps

While smartphones used to be harder to find and even harder to use, today they’re everywhere— and much simpler to operate. Apps (mobile applications) such as exercise prescription apps, progress tracking apps, and pain management apps allow patients to access their personalised treatment plans wherever they are and receive feedback from their physiotherapists, all on their smartphones. This offers patients the ability to take a more active role in their physiotherapy journey, helping them to stay committed to their treatment plans and stay motivated to reach their goals.

The Future of Physiotherapy is at Powerhouse Physiotherapy

The future of physiotherapy is full of technological advancement, bringing personalised care and a more collaborative approach with it. At Powerhouse Physiotherapy, we utilise technology wherever possible while bringing world class locally, aiming to get you back to what you love sooner. To see how we may be able to assist you, book your appointment online today.