Telehealth Software in Physical Therapy
ScienceSoft employs its 18 years of experience in healthcare IT to design and develop robust physical therapy telemedicine software for healthcare organizations and software product companies.
The Essence of Telehealth for Physical Therapy
Telehealth technology helps physical therapists foster patients’ rehabilitation after injuries and surgeries, manage chronic conditions (e.g., arthritis), and provide care for professional athletes remotely. Telemedicine software enables remote delivery of physical therapy, improves care continuity, and promotes better treatment adherence.
Architecture of a Telemedicine Solution for Physical Therapy
The main elements of the telemedicine platform for PT are a cloud server with a data storage and processing module and a video streaming server, an app for patients, an app for physical therapists, and an admin web panel.
The solution can be integrated with EHR/EMR software to maintain cohesive data throughout the healthcare IT systems. A telehealth application can be integrated with smart medical devices (e.g., heart monitors, wearable smart watches) or sensors (e.g., computer vision for motion tracking) to monitor the physical therapy progress and treatment adherence.
The main elements of the solution include:
App for patients
to view and follow physical therapy programs, record therapy sessions, contact a therapist for help and guidance, etc.
Admin web panel
to allow hospital administrators, supervisors, or private practice therapists (when SaaS model is used) to view a list of physical therapists and patients, grant the app access to patients and physiotherapists, add new physical therapy programs, etc.
App for physical therapists
to assign physical therapy programs, manage treatment, monitor therapy progress, patients’ health parameters, etc
Key Features of a Telehealth Application for Physical Therapy
At ScienceSoft, we create a unique set of physiotherapy telehealth app features for each customer to cater to their specific business needs. Here is the list of core features we implement that encompasses most of physical therapy software use cases.
Physical therapy program setup (for therapists)
- Composing a physical therapy program.
- Recording video instructions for exercises or adding text descriptions to exercises.
- View and selection of therapy programs available for a patient’s condition.
- Adaptation of a therapy program to a patient’s needs (e.g., adding a new exercise, changing a number of sets).
- Enabling text-to-speech functionality for textual exercise instructions (when setting up a program for visually impaired patients).
- VR-based physical therapy sessions.
Conducting a physiotherapy session (for therapists)
- Templates for pre-therapy questionnaires for patients (indicating symptoms and an overall health state).
- Physical therapy modes: guided sessions with real-time monitoring by a therapist (optimal for therapy beginners) or pre-recorded therapy sessions.
- Recording of conducted physical therapy sessions.
Therapy adherence monitoring and analytics
- Personal KPI targets for each patient created by a therapist.
- Alerts for a therapist and a patient if the patient’s vitals exceed the norm.
- Notifications for a therapist if a patient doesn’t meet set KPIs or misses a remote physical therapy session.
- Treatment adjustment suggestions for therapists (e.g., reduce the number of cardio exercises due to a high heart rate).
- Dashboards with patients’ target and achieved therapy results, analyzed progress, therapy adherence, and vitals.
Self-monitoring (for patients)
- Patients’ exercise log.
- Patients’ health parameters log (e.g., weight, body temperature, pulse, blood pressure).
- Automated vitals collection and tracking via connected devices.
- Real-time suggestions for exercise adjustments based on tracked vitals.
- Automated patient surveys after therapy sessions.
- E-visits scheduling.
- Real-time audio and video calls (e.g., for physical therapy sessions, follow-up visits).
- Instant text messaging and message history.
- Online appointments history and recordings.
Security and compliance
- Access and identity management.
- Multi-factor authentication.
- Data encryption (e.g., for PHI, messaging, and calls).
- HIPAA and HITECH regulations compliance.
See How It Works in Real Life
Check Out Our Telehealth App Demo
Explore opportunities that a telehealth app provides to foster continuous and impactful communication between patients and healthcare professionals.
Explore a Telehealth App with Remote Patient Monitoring
In the app demo, we show how the automated collection of health parameters, vitals analysis, and identification of symptom patterns contribute to advanced patient care.
Important Integrations for Telehealth PT Software
To save time on manual patient data entry and get an overall picture of patient health while planning and conducting remote physical therapy sessions, ScienceSoft suggests integrating the telehealth PT application with:
EHR or EMR system
to ease access to the patient health information (e.g., diagnoses, chronic conditions) for physical therapists and log e-visits in EHR for the streamlined gathering of billing information.
Connected medical devices
to collect and analyze patients’ health parameters (e.g., blood pressure, pulse, SpO2) in real time, adjust the physiotherapy, track treatment results and effectiveness.
How to choose technology for medical device integration with a telehealth app for PT?
We recommend choosing connectivity technology (e.g., Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth) for smart medical device integration based on the device properties, manufacturers, security concerns, and requirements of your healthcare organization. For example, Bluetooth is often used to securely connect smartwatches or sensors.
What Determines the Success of a Telehealth App for Physical Therapy
Before the pandemic, only 2% of physical therapists provided care via telehealth, states the research of the American Physical Therapy Association. By July 2020, 47% of physical therapists started using video consultations in their practice.
To ensure telehealth appointments bring benefits to the patients, ScienceSoft's experts recommend to consider the following factors:
Easy in-app therapy programs search, editing, and adding
to allow physical therapists to set up an effective patient therapy program fast.
Gamification of physical therapy
to motivate patients (e.g., points for completing a therapy session or reaching predefined therapy milestones, in-app badges for progress).
Clear UI and intuitive UX
to help patients navigate through remote physiotherapy sessions and the telehealth application’s features, e.g., with pop-up text or voiced recommendations (especially relevant for geriatric care).
Examples of Telemedicine for Physical Therapy
- Essen Health Care, an NYC-based medical group, implemented a telehealth-based virtual physical therapy, rehabilitation, and RPM program. The organization witnessed a 20% reduction in the rehabilitation period, and patient adherence increased by 65% compared to in-facility adherence.
- Exchange Physical Therapy Group, a practice with three clinic locations in New Jersey, implemented telehealth for physical therapy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 10% of their patients used telehealth to stay active and continue rehabilitation.
Do You Need a Custom Telehealth App for PT?
ScienceSoft has prepared a few simple questions that will help you determine whether you need a custom-made telemedicine solution for virtual physical therapy.
Do you want your telehealth app to be integrated with medical devices or sensors? For example, to track patient activity and range of movement, help monitor complications, etc.
Do you plan on designing unique physical therapy programs (e.g., pre-recorded and animated videos or VR-based physiotherapy)?
Do you have a complex IT environment and/or legacy software (EHR, RCM, practice management, etc.) and need to seamlessly integrate the telehealth app into it?
Do you want to automate physiotherapy patients’ progress assessment with AI-driven analytics?
Tell us more about your needs
Please answer at least one question to help us better understand your business objectives.
A ready-made app may cover your needs
It looks like an out-of-the-box solution is just right for your organization. If you need to choose and implement the best-fitting telenursing app, ScienceSoft’s experts are ready to help you.
A custom telehealth app for PT is the way to go
Based on your answers, it seems you should opt for a custom telehealth app for PT. ScienceSoft’s healthcare IT experts with 5-20 years of experience will be glad to help you define the necessary features, design a robust architecture, and develop your telemedicine solution.
Telehealth App for Physical Therapy: a Success Story by ScienceSoft
Customer: A US-based software product company.
Solution: A wearable-based physiotherapy platform, including a mobile and a web app.
- An in-app personalized therapy plan with detailed exercise video instructions.
- Patient progress reports based on the range of joint motion data from the wearable sensors.
- Instant text messaging between patients and therapists.
- Access to educational content.
Project highlights: ScienceSoft developed proprietary algorithms for Xsens DOT wearable sensors to accurately assess the knee joints and low back mobility.
Benefits of Telehealth PT
Improved care availability
due to the remote care delivery model (Annual Reviews).
to physical therapy treatment due to convenient therapy delivery at patients’ homes (Healthcare IT News).
Better patient outcomes
due to easy control of treatment efficiency and PT plan personalization (Physical Therapy Journal).
Holding ISO 13485 certification, ScienceSoft creates efficient telemedicine apps for PT according to the requirements of the FDA and the Council of the European Union.
Our Customers Say
Founder and CEO
I’ve had six orthopedic surgeries since playing college football and tried every major digital exercise therapy platform on the market. None of them offer the comprehensive and personalized care they claim. Thanks to ScienceSoft’s practical healthcare IT expertise, we created a musculoskeletal therapy platform that can be fully customized and reflect the needs of each program member.
We engaged ScienceSoft to build an Android app that complements our web-based platform for our patients. They advised and successfully lead the way from end to end through the technical challenges and considerations with development of the app. We have also engaged them to introduce a few enhancements to the app and would certainly consider ScienceSoft as a technology partner in further software development initiatives.
We worked with ScienceSoft on the refactoring and modernization of our telehealth web portal and a cross-platform patient application. During the project, we were impressed by their code analysis proficiency and in-depth knowledge of telemedicine specifics. ScienceSoft proved to be a reliable vendor with a solid healthcare background, and we recommend them to everyone looking for a telehealth software development partner.
ScienceSoft is an international IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, Texas, US. For 18 years, ScienceSoft has been rendering expert consulting and development services for telemedicine applications and helped healthcare organizations provide quality remote physical therapy to improve patient care and quicken rehabilitation.
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