In 2020, there are a few trending areas of technological advancement that continue to change the way we function as a society. These include artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual and augmented reality, and robotic automation (to name a few). Not only will these advancements affect the general population but medicine and healthcare in 2020. Technology can help healthcare organizations and the individual healthcare practitioner meet growing demand and efficiently operate to deliver better patient care. Healthcare and medicine has become extremely data driven. Increases in computing power has enabled healthcare software/hardware programs to increase the amount of data processed/analyzed. This will help change physical therapy practice in order to drive up outcomes.
This is not only important in regards to EMR documentation but also with Home Exercise Programming (HEP) and software that are presently available commercially. In the past year there have been some advancements in how these HEP software programs modify the interface between the client and clinician to help improve exercise adherence and therapeutic alliance. Below we will provide an updated guide to the most popular HEP websites/software in 2020.
As a physical therapist, I have pretty much heard every comment from patients about their HEP, including "I'm too busy," "I'm too tired," " I have pain," "I forgot," or simply "I don't want to do them."
These are some of the reasons why people do not perform their home exercise programs (HEPs). The reasons provided give a small glimpse of how much of physical therapy involves changing patients' behavior.
Sionnadh McLean, a physiotherapist at Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom, has studied barriers to treatment adherence in PT clinics. She notes,
The important thing that a physical therapist can do at this stage is not to blame the patients and to understand that all exercise behavior change is difficult.
PTs alone are not going to make their patients better, but physical therapists have the opportunity to teach patients how to make themselves better (Miller, 2015).
In my experience, patients who are not only compliant, but also adherent to their prescribed home exercise program tend to progress and recover much more quickly than patients who don't do anything outside the clinic. This reduces the time and money spent attending supervised physical therapy sessions ("Importance of home exercise program", 2008).
Patient compliance is of considerable importance in physical therapy because treatment effects partly depend on it. The efficacy of therapeutic exercises can only be established when patients comply with the exercise regimen.
From my experience, physical therapists typically provide home exercise programs (HEPs) in the form of written instructions with diagrams and/or verbal instructions with demonstrations. Many HEP software programs are antiquated and/or incomplete, as clinics have to balance the financial costs of upgrading software with declining reimbursement rates and other challenges. Furthermore, different learning styles require that a therapist select the ideal method to deliver HEPs.
The digital age along with mobile interfaces have proven a gem in the new age of HEP software. Real live video demonstration, video based HEP’s, HIPAA compliant messaging interface, branding/marketing options, access to articles/sourced content, and in-app gaming and reward programs help reach the client even more.
Hopefully the list below will change the way we approach provide HEP’s and enlist a far better interface with the client in order to improve patient outcomes and increase therapeutic alliance.
Here's a list of top online HEP databases and HEP software applications:
Patient Care HEP is an online software program that was developed by MedBridge as a way for rehab professionals to better connect with their patients. This program includes smart search, drop and drag functionality, custom filter views, fast sorting, and intuitive categories. There is a collection of over 5,000+ exercises in the database. Clinicians can upload their own exercises and/or solicit MedBridge to create said exercises in studio. Included is a condition-based 3D animated videos in each program to help your patients better understand their rehabilitation. Voice overs exist on each of the videos and paired with written instructions in both English and Spanish. Each exercise is filmed in HD on a pure white background with multiple camera angles to provide your patients with easy-to-follow instructions. Patients have access to their own portal, where the videos, exercise programs, and condition based videos are easily accessible. A new feature includes easy transfer of home exercise program(s) to an EMR system. Patient Care HEP is part of MedBridge's yearly subscription of $300/year as a Premium Member. (CovalentCareers readers can get $175 off with promo code COVALENT.) Enterprise membership is available but you must contact MedBridge directly HERE for pricing and a demo.
New Developments with MedBridge GO (Patient Mobile App)
- Real time data, feedback, and surveys
- Increases engagement with daily reminders, streaks, and positive reinforcements to encourage HEP adherence
- Increase the individual or companies marketing reach with a white label option
BPMRx is a physical therapy/fitness home exercise software program that includes access to all modules (cardio, barbell, kettlebells, stretches, etc.). PTs can build unique exercise handouts from a library of hundreds of beautifully rendered black and white illustrations. PTs can create up to 100 different exercise handouts per day on a single account. BPMRx touts itself as a database that reaches the spectrum of abilities from novices to experts in human movement. A PT can email a PDF to a patient's computer or smart phone at no extra cost. The plan costs $10.00/month. A professional can access this software with a 14 day Free Trial.
Database of Exercises include different modalities:
- Gymnastics rings
- Pull-up bar
- Indian Clubs
- Mace Bells
- Resistance bands
- Medicine balls
- Stability/Physio Balls
- Boxes and benches
- Classic weight room machines
Exercise Pro Live provides personalized video exercise programs, patient communications and adherence tracking. It is a patient engagement platform that enhances the relationship between physical therapists and other health professionals and their patients. 3,000 High definition web video exercises. Videos include orthopedic, fitness, pilates, yoga, aquatics, neuro, balance, geriatric, women’s health and more. Fast and flexible exercise search engine. Exercise Pro Live allows the clinician to add their own exercises in real time and are able to brand with the company logo. With the mobile app, Exercise Pro Live claims that even customers in their 80’s report ease of use. And for those that can’t, you can provide printed handouts. There is a client portal which facilitates conversation between the client and the clinician along with providing an area for discussion and review. There also includes software that tracks if a patient viewed the exercises and a checklist for the patient to guide them through the protocol of exercises. Content includes orthopedics, functional, neurology, balance, geriatrics, speech, women’s health, yoga, Pilates, fitness, aquatics and more. Click here for pricing. Exercise Pro Live also offers a 14 DAY FREE TRIAL.
HEP2Go is a home exercise database accessible through any online search engine. There are two plans available. These are FREE and PRO. See this LINK for a comparison of each plan and what is included. The first plan is free and includes access to all content. You can access this content in the form of print or email, and you can create unlimited exercises. The limitation is that you can only save two routines. The second plan costs $4.95/month or $49.95/year and includes everything above, as well as the ability to save unlimited routines, share HEP through SMS texting, and other benefits. Plans are per person. Discounts are applied to multiple member upgrades. See Group Plans for multiple member group rates. Exercises are sorted by joint region, education (body mechanics), and special populations such as vestibular, aquatics, and neurologic patients.
Healigo is a home exercise software program that allows the clinician to prescribe exercises straight to the clients smartphone via a free mobile app. Healigo's patient dashboard and detailed reporting history are quick and easy to read, providing you with a snapshot of your patient's recovery, and helping to identify problems, in just seconds. The dashboard also helps improve the progression of home exercises from session to session seamlessly. Physical therapists see the best results using Healigo with their patients when they ask patients to report on the Healigo patient mobile app each day, and when they let their patients know that they care about their recovery and will be monitoring progress between visits. The video above introduces the clinician and client to its usage and benefits. Pricing is $15/month/PT, which includes a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL.
Hot Points for HEALIGO:
- 3000+ Exercises, including HD videos and instructions
- Save time with exercise templates and saved programs
- Streamlined design to create programs faster than ever
This is an online HEP database that ranges from $20/month plan (0-50 new patients/month) to $55/month (301+ new patients/month). The database contains over 1,000 exercise, activity, and education options. Stretching, mobilizations, range of motion, strengthening, education, equipment and device demonstrations, and more are included. A PT can expect to increase patient compliance and provide better customer service and communication by utilizing the secure, private messaging feature. Each individual patient has secure access to their own portal, where they can access their own HEP, which also includes HD videos. i-HEP also provides a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL along with student pricing.
- Create your own private video library
- Create your own private exercise protocols/templates
- Higher level functional activities (e.g. return to sport drills) too!
Physiotec is a web-based home exercise program that covers a wide range of specialized exercises (20+) for all types of rehabilitation programs. There are video home exercise programs that are produced in-house. With Physiotec, patients have access to their home exercise programs online through their smart phones, electronic tablets or computers. It's easy for them to play the video of each exercise, see the number of sets and repetitions, as well as access written instructions in Spanish, English and French. Clinicians can print home exercise programs by choosing from 15+ different print layouts to accommodate patients' needs. If there isn’t a layout that you see available then you can request a new pattern from Physiotec’s support team. The handouts can be printed in color, black and white, or vector (line) formats. Businesses can customize the HEP tool to help with branding needs. Physiotec provides a FREE TRIAL as well.
Three Benefits to Boost Patient Adherence and Engagement
- Interactive Home Exercise Program tool
- Clock for timing length of program
- Pain level documentation/analytics
- Tracking program performance
- Fun tracking tools for the client
- Daily reminders and motivational messages
Physitrak provides 4,200+ fully narrated clinical exercise videos in HD (or clinicians can upload their own). PTs can prescribe exercises in seconds and can be delivered straight to the patient’s smartphone, computer, or printer. Track your patient’s outcomes in real-time with Physitrack’s FREE patient app, called PhysiApp (iOS, Android and web). The program was created by APA physiotherapists and clinical experts from around the world. The cost is $10.99/month for a single clinician (up to 10 clinicians), with additional options for larger therapy staff. Click this LINK for a demo of this application.
Five unique reasons to choose Physitrak for your HEP needs:
- Medicare compliant (MIPS) data gathering to help increase revenue
- Instant messaging feature to stay in touch with clients
- Telehealth integration
- Branding opportunities
- Built in outcome measures
PT Wired is a unique HEP solution that is designed to function as both an exercise program software and a marketing platform. Each client receives a fully-branded mobile app (iOS, Android and web) with their name, logo, and color scheme. In 60-90 seconds, PTs are able to build a patient’s HEP from a library of over 3000+ exercises. Smart search, filters, and program templates make this process fast and intuitive. PTs can also upload their own videos and request videos from PT Wired. Once a patient begins using the app, a PT can track their progress on the patient’s dashboard. In addition, the PT Wired system is designed to detect highly engaged patients and ask them to leave Google/Facebook reviews through the patient app. If you are looking to build your clinics’ brand awareness, maximize engagement with current clients, ensure consistent instruction, and boost outcomes, PT Wired is the best value add money can buy.
Four Take Home Benefits about PT Wired
- Fast, effective, and personalized HEP’s
- Increased chances for patient engagement due to a stellar mobile interface
- Improved tracking program to help boost patient outcomes and retention
- Helps your company/clinic stand out with customized branding
Click this LINK to contact PT Wired for pricing and to schedule a DEMO
PTX is a free web-based exercise database that currently contains over 1,000 physiotherapy exercises appropriate for people with injuries and disabilities. The website primarily consists of exercises aimed at improving strength, flexibility, function, and fitness. Emphasis has been placed on providing exercises that are independent of different philosophical approaches to rehab. Exercises can be searched via different categories, such as condition, exercise type, body part, equipment available, exercise difficulty, age category, and image orientation. Each exercise has an accompanying illustration and photograph. Each exercise has instructions, aims, and precautions written in two formats: one for the patient and one for the practitioner.
Allows the clinician to design a home exercise program in either a personalized paper and/or video based format. Website boasts that a clinician can create a HEP in less than 30 seconds. Clinician benefits include: 1,600+ orthopedic exercise videos (and growing), 250+ clinically recommended templates, easily email patient HEP, fastest HEP software on the market, customize, save, and share prescriptions with co-workers, allows more time to be spent with patients, improved professional image, and complete control over product selection, ensuring the patient will receive exactly what you prescribe. The client can access their program through an online portal. Accessible via PC and smartphone. Pricing: Contact the company directly for pricing information.
WebExercises® gives clinicians the ability to quickly and easily create concise and personalized exercise programs, selecting from over 3,000 clinically accepted exercises and stretches from all body regions. Instruction sheets can be printed or delivered by email, customized with a specific clinic’s name and logo. With WebExercises®, patients gain a clear understanding of their home exercise programs, promoting more frequent and proper form of all prescribed rehabilitation. A database of exercises is also provided in video form. This program gives clinicians the ability to track and improve compliance, and has the added flexibility of allowing PTs to add their own photos and videos.
Please see our previous ARTICLE on WebPT’s new HEP software which details all its benefits to your PT practice!
To help your patients get the most from their treatment, WebPT brings you its exclusive Home Exercise Program. You’ll gain access to an extensive library of videos, photos, line drawings and instructions that you can use to supplement your patients’ home exercises through email access. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can create your own programs and instructions. Increase patient compliance through a multimedia (photo and video) program. Spend more time treating your patients instead of retraining exercises. Email on-the-go patients exercises they can review and complete anytime, anywhere. Access peer-reviewed exercise profiles directly from the patient flowsheet. Customize your own exercise programs and instructions. Price: When you visit the website, you can see a free demo, or sign up for a monthly plan.