2024 will be an exciting year for physical therapy. With artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and robotic assistants, physical therapy is now more poised than ever to offer therapy patients the best possible care. Here are a few insights for 2024.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence continues to be a big thing in healthcare. AI allows rehab therapists to predict outcomes and guide clinical practice. AI can also improve a PT clinic’s ability to show its value. It does this by teaching decision-making processes that benefit the patient and achieve optimal outcomes at lower costs.
Telehealth and digital musculoskeletal (MSK) solutions now implement AI into their programming. Digital platforms use AI to observe patients exercising at home and then report data regarding adherence, proper technique, and other plan of care information.
Virtual Reality Rehab
Video game technology is already in use in PT and will continue to expand in 2024 with virtual reality (VR). PT and VR can improve patient adherence, outcomes, and recovery speed for rehab therapy patients. There are many choices and practice variations to implement this cutting-edge tool.
Expect sensor technology to expand in 2024. This technology already has a variety of rehabilitation uses. A therapy patient can hide the sensors in socks for pacing, cadence, and foot contact in running. Patients wear sensors in clothing for injury prevention and biometric data collection. Diabetic wearables for blood glucose monitoring make exercise participation safe and more effective.
Lokomat is a robotic treadmill that allows patients with neurological conditions to engage in task-specific repetitive movement. The treadmill helps patients regain or improve their ability to walk. A therapist can suspend a therapy patient over the treadmill by using a harness. Next, the therapist places the patient’s legs into the robot legs of the treadmill. A computer then adjusts the treadmill pace and measures the patient’s response and progress.
Robotic Upper Extremity Rehab
Speaking of robots, they are now assisting with upper extremity rehabilitation for multiple conditions, including severely impaired stroke patients and fine motor control mechanisms in adults and children. These devices are already finding success and, in the coming years, can help change the prognosis and speed of recovery for many patients.
Falls account for a significant amount of deaths for individuals aged 75 to 84. Work on preventing falls is producing multiple fall detection devices and technology that analyze and avoid future falls. Devices like the Hip Guard use motion sensor technology to prevent hip injuries if a fall occurs.
2024 is shaping up to be a big year for PT. Multiple high-tech tools will make therapy safer and more effective for patients. Is 2024 the year you seek a new PT position? If so, let the team at myPTsolutions help you find a terrific therapy job.