6 Reasons Why Digital Physical Therapy is The Way To Go in 2022
Even before the COVID 19 pandemic, individuals and providers alike were eager to utilize digital healthcare solutions to improve experiences from both sides and make healthcare more readily accessible. In this article, you will find everything you, as the patient, need to know, from what digital physical therapy encompasses to how it can help you personally and what platform to choose to get you started!
What is digital PT?
With all these buzzwords floating around like digital therapy and telehealth it can be very confusing to understand what each is referring to and how it relates to your personal needs. Telehealth is like a broad umbrella category that covers any type of healthcare provided from a distance through the use of technology. Digital PT refers specifically to physical therapy services provided with the use of technology, typically a specific digital platform such as a website or smartphone application that connects patients to therapists directly.
Digital PT provides all of the convenience of telehealth without compromising the thoroughness of an in-person visit. Take OneStep as an example. With the OneStep digital PT app, you will still undergo a complete intake with a licensed PT who will examine you, evaluate your current physical abilities and challenges, and discuss your personal goals with you to create a customized exercise program to follow right from your smartphone. Your OneStep physical therapist is there for you 24/7 to answer any questions and modify exercises as you progress or your needs change. In addition to access to a high-quality PT, our app uses the sensors built into your phone combined with our sophisticated science to provide you with real-time data to track your progress and offer you visibility into how you’re doing in your recovery.
The Benefits of Using Digital Physical Therapy
1) Easy to Implement Into Your Everyday Life
With digital PT, you control when and where you do your assigned exercises and are empowered to take small daily steps towards better overall health and recovery, rather than a concentrated effort a few times a week. As mentioned above, you are given a complete exercise program easily accessible from the app that also offers you access to demonstrative videos you can access at any time and from anywhere. There is no need for fancy equipment, wearables, gym memberships, or trips into a clinic - you can use what you already have at home.
2) No Need to Miss Visits Due to Weather (or a Pandemic!)
With the COVID 19 pandemic, we’ve seen now more than ever how unexpected life circumstances can get in the way of attending in-person appointments. However, this isn’t anything new when you think about it. How many times have you had to cancel an appointment because of hazardous weather, your childcare falling through at the last minute, or just feeling that you’re too tired to drive somewhere that day? We totally understand – life happens. Digital PT is convenient and on your terms so that you never have to miss a visit; we are always there with you and just a tap away, whether it be in the comfort of your own home or outside on a sunny day.
3)Easy Access to Data That Outlines Your Progress
With the OneStep app, you don’t need to go into a clinic for assessments. Our app prompts you to take daily walks and can even track your walking throughout the day to provide you with valuable insight regarding your gait and progress. It’s a great motivational tool that makes tracking your progress interactive and fun – with a little healthy self-competition to improve your latest walk score!
4) Better Outcomes With Lasting Results
Digital PT increases the opportunity for highly personalized care and minimizes confusion or self-doubt throughout your program. Additionally, digital PT provides you with the necessary guidance during your home exercises to ensure you perform the correct exercises with proper form. There is also the opportunity to seek real-time answers to your questions, without having to wait until your next in-person visit for solutions and feedback. Importantly, you are more likely to stick with a plan of care if it becomes a part of your daily life, completely structured on your unique needs and desires – PT on your terms. Implementing easy-to-follow, sustainable exercise programs from a holistic wellness perspective speeds up recovery and fosters lasting results so that you can not only get back to the things you love sooner but stay well and active for the long run.
5) Often More Budget Friendly
Harnessing the power of technology means increased efficiency (when done right). That’s why digital physical therapy services may surprise you with innovative payment models. Depending on your insurance, you likely have some sort of copay due at each visit. With the OneStep app, you pay a set monthly fee and get access to a comprehensive physical therapy service available to you 24/7. Talk about getting the most out of your money!
6) You Can Even Combine In-Person PT With Digital PT!
If you already have a PT you love but want more therapy outside of the clinic, digital PT is the perfect solution to augment your care. With the OneStep app, we have a package dedicated to combining in-person PT with our digital app that provides you with a licensed therapist available for consultation 24/7 via remote monitoring, a customized exercise program to perform outside of the clinic, and access to our gait lab in your pocket that provides you with real data that can be shared with your in-person PT, physicians, and surgeons at every stage of your recovery journey. Whatever your rehabilitation needs, the possibilities are truly endless with digital PT options.
Where to start?
To try out digital PT for yourself, download our OneStep Digital Physical Therapy app – you’ll be connected with a licensed PT and can begin your rehab journey on your terms in 2022!
Telehealth. U.S. National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Biotechnologies. https://www.nibib.nih.gov/science-education/science-topics/telehealth. Updated August 2020. Accessed January 18, 2022.
Dantas LO, Barreto RPG, Ferreira CHJ. Digital physical therapy in the COVID-19 pandemic. Braz J Phys Ther. 2020;24(5):381-383. doi:10.1016/j.bjpt.2020.04.006
Lee AC, Davenport DE, Randall K. Telehealth physical therapy in musculoskeletal practice. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2018;(48)10: 736-739. doi:10.2519/jospt.2018.0613