I seem to be on a roll with new techie things, so I think I’ll stay in that vein for a few posts.
A new app called PT Pal (that link is for the patient app, click here to get a free 14 day trial of this product for your clinic or find more info) looks like a step in the right direction to get patients to better adhere to their home exercise programs (HEP).
We all know we need to exercise, and so much more for prescriptive exercise to correct disfunction. But ugh, counting all those sets and reps? And doing it EVERYDAY? Sometimes multiple times a day! Let’s get real. No one actually does the HEP exactly like we tell them to. I think this app could help boost adherence.
What does it do exactly? First, it sends the HEP to your patients’ smart phone. They can’t “lose it” now! Bwahahaha! It does all the tracking for the patient, sends little reminders to do the exercises, and gives verbal and visual instructions on the doing exercise. They don’t have to be on an active internet connection for the app to work either. The patients can also log how difficult a particular exercise was or if it caused pain. It keeps a record of how the patient is performing with the HEP. Then it will tell the clinic when the patient has arrived for treatment. Here are some screen shots from the patients’ perspective.
Alright, so what does it do for the clinician? It can be used in hospital or clinic settings, with adults and peds for PT, OT and ST exercises. Just point and click to add exercises from the clinician’s web portal. You can search through the library of 1,000 exercises and also create favorite programs. There are ways you can add your own exercises too. The PT Pal company can make sketches for you or you can do it yourself. We would be able to monitor the patient’s progress between visits and make adjustments as necessary or even contact the patient if necessary. There are also printable reports available to add some “beef” to your documentation. “See! This one is really doing the HEP!” The company can also brand the app for your company, so your company logo is in your patients’ sight often and makes it easy for them to tell their friends about you. AND to top it all off, they are in the process of making the app multi-lingual, which is a big deal for me. They already have some exercises available with Spanish instructions and are working on expanding in Spanish and adding Chinese and Arabic instructions as well.
So this is all well and good, but it probably costs a fortune. Not really. The app is free for the patient. The cost to the clinician depends on the number of clinicians in a network. It starts at $15/clinician for large cooperations of 200+ clinicians and goes up from there.
With payor sources wanting more and more “proof” that what we’re doing is working, I think that this may be a future requirement to report on: is the patient actually doing their HEP. Which wouldn’t be an overall bad thing really. We all know that the one’s that at least do a little of what we ask at home get better faster than the one’s that say things like, “But that’s what I pay your for!” or “I lost it.”
A big thanks to Naveen Khan, CEO of PT Pal that answered a bunch of questions for me about this product.