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IoT in physiotherapy: what are the benefits?

The need to constantly develop new therapeutic techniques, increase the effectiveness of treatments and the efficiency of services offered to the patient have given a strong impetus to technological progress in the medical field, in all its sectors. Among these, physiotherapy is experiencing a real technological revolution in recent years, and IoT solutions for patient rehabilitation are becoming increasingly widespread and cutting-edge.

IoT technology applied to physiotherapy

IoT technology applied to physiotherapy includes a wide variety of solutions ranging from robotics to augmented reality, from wearable sensors to the use of Big Data, from artificial intelligence to all other forms of tele-rehabilitation.

Together, all these technologies make it possible to collect, process and analyse a large amount of data that comes directly from the use of IoT devices by patients, as well as from rehabilitation activities carried out by patients on their own, or on the instructions of the treating therapist.

The information collected is all about, for example, movement, physiological parameters such as heart rate, sweating, muscle activity and even brain activity.
Together, this data allows for more accurate verification of the effectiveness of treatments and physiotherapy sessions, so that treatment can be better tailored to the progress/problems the patient is experiencing.

The multiple benefits of IoT in physiotherapy

The benefits of IoT in physiotherapy are many: tele-rehabilitation helps to prevent injuries in sports and at work, but also helps to follow older patients more closely in their rehabilitation.

Digital physiotherapy is in fact based on the development of digital therapies applicable to all possible scenarios. Thanks to these innovative treatments, it is possible:

  • keep track of the exercises performed by the patient together with the physiotherapist to set up a therapy course over time;
  • show the patient the movements to be performed, and establish the relevant physiotherapy cycles.
  • store the patient's movements during the sessions to create a history;
  • offer a personalised virtual assistant, always available to answer the patient's questions;
  • create mini-games to motivate users to follow the rehabilitation exercises.

All these benefits are linked to the use of a range of technological devices, including wearables, that are interconnected and able to exchange data and information in real time to provide a complete picture of the state of health and effectiveness of physiotherapy exercises.

Long-term benefits

The potential of digital physiotherapy is really high, but there are still too few innovations developed, and even fewer actually applied. The diffusion of these innovative therapies is therefore still a long way off, but there is no doubt that in the long term these solutions will be the future of medicine as a whole, and obviously also of physiotherapy.

At a time when the population is tending to get older and health care is under increasing pressure, finding alternative solutions to offer better services to patients and to make the work of health professionals more efficient is a need that cannot go unheeded.

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