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Table of Contents
Year : 2023  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-3

Integrating technology in physical therapy practice: A new era of rehabilitation

1 Department of Orthopaedic Physiotherapy, KAHER Institute of Physiotherapy, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
2 Orthopaedic Manual Therapy, KAHER Institute of Physiotherapy, Belagavi, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission18-May-2023
Date of Decision22-Jun-2023
Date of Acceptance27-Jul-2023
Date of Web Publication11-Aug-2023

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Aarti Welling
Department of Orthopaedic Physiotherapy, KAHER Institute of Physiotherapy, Belagavi, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijptr.ijptr_164_23

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How to cite this article:
Welling A, Metgud S. Integrating technology in physical therapy practice: A new era of rehabilitation. Indian J Phys Ther Res 2023;5:1-3

How to cite this URL:
Welling A, Metgud S. Integrating technology in physical therapy practice: A new era of rehabilitation. Indian J Phys Ther Res [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 Oct 1];5:1-3. Available from: https://www.ijptr.org/text.asp?2023/5/1/1/383674

  Introduction Top

Physical therapy is a crucial component of health-care delivery; aiding patient recovery from injury and pain, and managing acute and chronic neuromusculoskeletal conditions thus improving their physical fitness. The history of artificial intelligence (AI) in physiotherapy dates back to the late 20th century when researchers began exploring its potential in assisting with patient assessment and diagnosis.[1],[2] The use of AI, which is driving further advancement in the field of physical therapy, is creating new opportunities for superior patient care. By combining human experience with AI, we are able to push the limits of what is possible in rehabilitation, from automating repetitive chores to creating tailored treatment regimens. In the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the usage of games for rehabilitation and training either physical or mental health. We are already at the beginning of the 21st century, a conjugation point beyond which AI will improve human cognition before surpassing it.[2] The transformative consequence of technological integration in physical therapy practice is addressed in this editorial, which also emphasizes key advancements impacting this new era of rehabilitation.

  Improved Evaluation and Diagnosis Top

Computer vision algorithms that perform better than humans in the analysis of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans, better diagnostics and prediction of patient outcomes, and improved administration, and planning in health systems have all been made possible by AI-based research today.[3],[4] This has enabled detailed visualization of musculoskeletal symptoms. In addition, motion-capture devices and wearable sensors offer unbiased information on patients' gait patterns, muscle activity, and joint range of motion. Physiotherapists can customize therapy protocols to meet each patient's needs using this data-driven methodology, leading to interventions that are more precisely targeted.[5],[6] Utilizing predictive modeling, which predicts an event or outcome based on the facts, can be a helpful tool in giving patients with particular illnesses prompt and preventive care. “Stroke Recovery Predictor” forecast the degree of recovery for patients who have had strokes based on information about the length of hospital stays, duration of stroke, and Barthel index score.[1],[7] AI is being investigated in pediatric physiotherapy to create interactive rehabilitation systems that involve kids in therapy sessions, track their progress, and offer tailored feedback. AI is being used in sports physiotherapy to forecast injuries, analyze performance, and create individualized training plans to help players recover more effectively and perform better on the field.[1],[2] Open Pose, AI Posture Evaluation and Correction System, etc., is yet another effective use of AI-based technology to assess a patient's posture.

  Individualized Therapy Interventions Top

Technology has made it easier to provide individualized treatment approaches that maximize the efficacy of physical therapy. Immersive environments are provided through virtual reality and augmented reality platforms, where studies have shown to reduce discomfort and improve range of motion by separating bodily activity from visual feedback.[6],[8] This is frequently utilized in rehabilitation activities to increase patient motivation and involvement. A mobile health application,[1] another pertinent digital sector, has been reported to enhance physical therapy treatment with high patient satisfaction. The addition of a “ChatBot” system in AI-based rehabilitation applications can use cognitive therapy to take into account the psychology of patients for faster healing and to preserve regularity, which enhances adherence to treatment.[1] Furthermore, robotic-assisted devices can offer precise and controlled support during therapy sessions, encouraging appropriate movement patterns, and lowering the chance of injury.[9] By empowering patients to actively participate in their own rehabilitation, these technologies improve compliance and results.

  Telerehabilitation and Remote Observation Top

One of the most significant advancements in integrated technology is the rise of telehealth and remote monitoring. Physical therapists can assist patients in person and remotely through video consultations, all from the comfort of their own homes. In addition to improving access to therapy, this strategy enables constant evaluation of patient outcomes and appropriate modifications to treatment regimens.[10] Patients are empowered and better able to control their care when they have access to remote monitoring tools and mobile applications that allow them to follow their rehabilitation progress. The frontiers of rehabilitation have been widened beyond conventional clinical settings by the integration of technology into physical therapy. Telerehabilitation solutions enable persistent treatment and support by facilitating easy connections between patients and physical therapists. The convenience and overall treatment compliance are improved by the flexibility in service delivery, which guarantees that people can obtain physical therapy interventions whenever and wherever they need them.

  Challenges and Considerations Top

Despite the enormous opportunities that integrated technology in physiotherapy practice entails, there are also issues that need to be addressed. The importance of data security and privacy, health-care professional education and training, and the cost of deploying and maintaining technology must all be taken into account. To minimize the escalation of already-existing health-care disparities, it is also critical to provide equal access to integrated technology across diverse populations and verticals. Instead of replacing physiotherapists, AI should be viewed as a tool that enhances their knowledge. To exploit the advantages of AI while retaining the human touch and tailored patient care, effective human-AI collaboration must be established.

  Future Potential of Artificial Intelligence in Physiotherapy Top

AI can be incorporated with other medical technology including biomechanical sensors, imaging systems, and electronic health records. Through this connection, smooth data sharing, interdisciplinary cooperation, and thorough patient management can all be made possible. Overall, AI in physiotherapy has a bright future in terms of advancing individualized care, enhancing results, expanding access to services, and improving rehabilitation methods. These developments will be fueled by ongoing study, creation, and cooperation between physiotherapists and AI scientists, who will also help to shape the field's future.

  Conclusion Top

Rehabilitation has been altered by the integration of technology into physical therapy practice, bringing in a new era of individualized and successful therapies. Patients can now get individualized care through improved assessment and diagnosis, targeted therapeutic strategies, telemedicine and remote monitoring, and rehabilitation outside of traditional venues. Integrated technology is well-positioned to continue influencing the future of physiotherapy, increasing patient outcomes, and enhancing general well-being.

  References Top

Baidya S. Extent of artificial intelligence in physiotherapy. In: Kumari V, editor. Recent Trends in Medical Research. New Delhi; India: © AkiNik Publications; 2022. p. 65-76.  Back to cited text no. 1
Aggarwal R, Ganvir SS. Artificial intelligence in physiotherapy. Physiother J Indian Assoc Physiother 2021;15:55-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
Harwich E, Laycock K. Thinking on Its Own: AI in the NHS. The Reform Research Trust, Charity No 1103739; 2018.  Back to cited text no. 3
Rowe M. Artificial intelligence in clinical practice: Implications for physiotherapy education. OpenPhysio J; 2019. 1-6. [doi: 10.14426/art/528].  Back to cited text no. 4
Patel S, Park H, Bonato P, Chan L, Rodgers M. A review of wearable sensors and systems with application in rehabilitation. J Neuroeng Rehabil 2012;9:21.  Back to cited text no. 5
Luxton DD, Riek LD. Artificial intelligence and robotics in rehabilitation. Handbook of rehabilitation psychology. American Psychological Association: Wahington DC; 2019. p. 507-20. doi: 10.1037/0000129-031.  Back to cited text no. 6
Kakkad AD, Rathod PV. A study to find out strongest predictive factor for functional outcome after stroke: An exploratory study. Indian J Public Health Res Dev 2020;11:582-7.  Back to cited text no. 7
Hudlicka E. Virtual affective agents and therapeutic games. In: Luxton DD, editor. Artificial Intelligence in Mental and Behavioral Healthcare. San Diego, CA: Elsevier; 2015. p. 81-116.  Back to cited text no. 8
Riek LD, Rabinowitch TC, Chakrabarti B, Robinson P. Empathizing with Robots: Fellow Feeling along the Anthropomorphic Spectrum. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction and Workshops; 2009. p. 1-6.  Back to cited text no. 9
D'Amario D, Canonico F, Rodolico D, Borovac JA, Vergallo R, Montone RA, et al. Telemedicine, artificial intelligence and humanisation of clinical pathways in heart failure management: Back to the future and beyond. Card Fail Rev 2020;6:e16.  Back to cited text no. 10


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