First-of-its-kind app offers personalized rehab therapy for stroke patients.
TORONTO, April 12, 2017
– A new, first-of-its-kind app is now available to support clinicians with decisions on best practice rehabilitation strategies for patients with arm impairment due to stroke.
The ViaTherapy app, developed through a worldwide collaboration of stroke rehab researchers co-led by Drs. Mark Bayley, Medical Director, Brain and Spinal Cord Rehab Program, Toronto Rehab and Steven Wolf of Emory University, is the result of a five-year process which aimed to make the Stroke Rehabilitation Guidelines more accessible to clinicians.
ViaTherapy translates the guidelines to a decision-making algorithm for occupational therapists and physiotherapists to use with their patients. “The right treatment for a patient today may not be the right treatment for them in three weeks,” says Dr. Bayley. “In a sports setting, a good coach will always progress training as the player gets better. We tried to capture how a clinician should also evolve therapy to involve new treatments depending on how far along the patient is in their recovery.”
According to Dr. Bayley, earlier research showed that because clinicians commit a large portion of their workdays to patient care, they often don’t have the capacity to search the literature for evidence-based therapies, or didn’t necessarily have the confidence to evaluate existing research on their own. “After processing vast amounts of rehab literature, we created this app which would close that gap,” says Dr. Steven Wolf, Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine. “ViaTherapy will assist clinicians in recalling established therapies and learning about new ones.”
From experience using the app personally and with Occupational Therapy students, Debbie Hebert, Clinic Lead for the Rocket Family Upper Extremity Clinic at Toronto Rehab, says this is a great tool for clinicians of all experience levels, “It saves you a step – instead of looking through the evidence, it brings you to it right away which allows you to go into the techniques.”
ViaTherapy is now available for free in Apple’s App Store and Google Play for Android devices. The development of this app was funded by the Toronto Rehab Foundation and the Canadian Stroke Network. ViaTherapy was created by Pivot Design Group.
Visit the ViaTherapy website: http://www.viatherapy.org/
Information provided by Ana Gajic, Public Affairs and Communications University Health Network
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