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Custom Rehabilitation Applications: Use Cases and Key Features

Rehabilitation Applications - ScienceSoft

In medical software development since 2005, ScienceSoft advises on and helps create intuitive apps for patient rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation Apps In Brief

Rehabilitation apps employ telehealth, AI, remote patient monitoring, and other technologies to help patients restore cognitive and motor functions after traumas, surgeries, illnesses without visiting medical facilities. Rehabilitation apps enable remote therapy, monitor patient progress, and improve patient motivation, adherence, and health outcomes. Such apps are widely used for:

Physical therapy

Cognitive therapy

Psychiatric rehabilitation

Neurological rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation

Healthcare providers value custom rehabilitation applications because they provide access to high-quality rehabilitation facilitated by connected medical devices, proprietary tech-enabled rehabilitation programs, AR, VR, and AI-based therapies.

Key Features of Rehabilitation Apps

Rehabilitation planning (for doctors)

  • Template-based and custom rehabilitation plans (featuring physical therapy sessions, speech therapy sessions, etc.).
  • AI-based recommendations on rehabilitation plan adjustments.
  • Scheduling of therapy sessions.
  • Medication intake scheme planning with customizable reminders.
  • Nutrition planning (e.g., weekly menu plans, lists of products to exclude).

Provision of rehabilitation sessions

  • Guided group and one-to-one online therapy sessions (e.g., physiotherapy, cognitive exercises).
  • Non-supervised rehabilitation sessions (e.g., with pre-recorded video instructions).
  • Educational therapy videos or articles (breath control techniques, dyspnea management tips, personal hygiene guidelines, etc.).
  • VR-based rehabilitation sessions.

Rehabilitation content creation and storage

  • Upload of rehabilitation videos and exercise instructions tailored for specific conditions (e.g., post-stroke care, muscle disuse atrophy).
  • Editing of stored rehabilitation content (e.g., combining several videos into a training program).
  • Adding in-app therapeutic programs with gamification elements (e.g., for coping with neurological or mental disorders like Alzheimer’s syndrome, ADHD).

Patient-doctor communication

  • Video appointments (e.g., for discussing a rehabilitation plan or progress).
  • Messaging between a doctor (a neurologist, a physiotherapist, a psychologist, etc.) or a nurse and a patient.
  • Store-and-forward functionality (for sharing new exercise instructions, etc.).
  • In-app alerts for a doctor and a patient and alerts via text messages for a relative in case of abnormal vitals during a rehabilitation session.
  • Video and chat-enabled psychosocial support group gatherings.

Rehabilitation progress and adherence monitoring

  • Manual and automatic (via connected medical devices) log of patients’ vitals available for medical staff.
  • (for patients) A rehabilitation journal for symptoms, diet, exercise, and more.
  • Reminders to a doctor and a patient about the next therapy session.
  • Notifications to a doctor and a patient in case of a missed therapy session, appointment, etc.
  • Sensor-based patient progress tracking with motion sensors, ECG patches, etc.
  • Adherence analysis and rehabilitation assessment using AI.
  • Patient surveys to identify progress or regress during rehabilitation (applicable for psychiatric rehabilitation, including depression and suicidal tendencies).

Patient motivation

  • Gamification elements (leaderboards, achievement badges, etc.).
  • Personalized goal-setting and rewards.
  • Social media sharing of rehabilitation achievements.


  • Voice navigation through the app (for visually impaired patients or patients with poor fine motor skills).
  • Text-to-speech functionality reading text or buttons to the patients with limited vision.
  • High-contrast UI themes to help the patients see the screen better.
  • Automation of video captioning and live transcription of video appointments.

Security and compliance

  • Multi-factor user authentication.
  • Role-based access to the app (e.g., patient, doctor, administrator).
  • Data encryption for PHI, messaging, insurance data, etc.
  • HIPAA, HITECH, and FDA regulations compliance.

How to Develop a Rehabilitation App

1. Analyzing the needs of a rehabilitation app's target audience.

2. Conceptualizing the app and designing a feature set for the target rehabilitation type (physical, cognitive, etc.).

3. Creating the regulatory compliance plan, considering HIPAA, GDPR, and MOHAP requirements (depending on the planned geography). If the app falls under the SaMD category (e.g., it provides tech-enabled rehabilitation interventions), it should be developed according to FDA or MDR requirements.

4. Designing the architecture, integrations, and software requirements.

5. Designing UX and UI of the app with a focus on accessibility for those with movement and visual impairments.

6. Iterative development and testing of the app.

7. Integrating the app with rehabilitation devices (e.g., smart gloves, biosensors).

8. Conducting pre-launch activities, e.g., preparing user training materials, HIPAA/GDPR audit, FDA 510(k) submission, and launching the app.

9. Supporting app users, maintaining, and improving the app.

Rehabilitation App in Real Life: Example by ScienceSoft

Rehabilitation app example - ScienceSoft



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