PoolFit, an on-demand water fitness and aquatic exercise subscription service, introduces the PoolFit App now available for iOS and Android. The app features instructor-led water workout videos for mobile and desktop.
Launched in 2019 by water fitness expert Mark Grevelding, PoolFit was designed to elevate the aquatic fitness industry and provide a modernized, fresh approach to traditional water aerobics for every fitness level. With more than 22 years in the fitness industry, including personal training and group training, Grevelding applies land-based exercise science to PoolFit’s water fitness workout videos offering scientifically backed, results-driven workouts designed specifically for exercising in the pool, a media release from PoolFit explains.
The PoolFit App provides users access to more than 100 water fitness workout videos that are comparable to traditional land-based workouts, including high intensity interval training (HIIT), kickboxing, cardio, strength training, aquatic yoga and more. Workouts are offered in both deep and shallow water.
Each workout video is led by an Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) certified trainer and personal training instructor and are ideal for all fitness levels, body types, ages and fitness goals. PoolFit’s on-demand library of workout videos features more than 50 athletic workouts geared toward more advanced exercisers, such as high intensity interval training (HIIT), Tabata, kickboxing and full body bootcamps, as well as workouts geared toward less advanced participants, such as water walking, arthritis exercises, yoga, stretching, light cardio and toning guided workouts.
PoolFit’s easy user functionality makes it easy to narrow down its 100-plus videos available according to a subscriber’s needs, thanks to easy search functions that sort the options by category, level, and how much time subscribers have on hand. Subscribers can access these workouts via their phone, tablet, TV and web browser. The PoolFit App also offers enhanced features, including Favorites, Search, Categories and Chromecast and Airplay options to cast the workout videos to TVs and Bluetooth audio devices, the release continues.
“I want to dispel the myth that you can’t get a good workout in the pool. The PoolFit App provides users convenience and accessibility for exercising at home, in their pool just as they would with traditional land-based fitness apps and workout platforms.
“If you gave up on running and other fitness activities because of joint impact issues, or chronic injuries, I have good news for you. With water fitness, you can run again. Working out in the pool enables you to be athletic and achieve your health and fitness goals.”
–PoolFit’s founder and creator, Mark Grevelding
PoolFit is free to download and available for iOS and Android smartphones in all major app marketplaces. PoolFit’s desktop and mobile app offers a 30-day free trial for all users, providing full access to all of PoolFit’s water fitness workout videos.
PoolFit’s monthly subscription is $15.95 per month. Sample PoolFit workouts are also offered on both its desktop and app.
Individuals with impaired upper limb have motor limitations that interfere with functionality. An alternative to rehabilitation consists of Robot Assisted Therapy, a method that increases the effectiveness of treatment. New robotic actuators have been developed to assist in the rehabilitation of the upper limb. One of them aims to actively perform finger extension and flexion passively, using a servo motor coupled to a rope system. At the elbow, a DC motor combined with a gearbox was coupled to a system of pulleys and ropes designed to actively perform flexion and extension movements. To activate the system, an Arduino-NANO® and a mobile application for Android were used. The performance of the prototype was evaluated in four post-stroke volunteers. The ability to perform the proposed movements with the device was observed. Structural reinforcement was necessary, after twisting the elbow support structure, with pronation of the forearm, resulting in increased component weight. This work presented new robotic devices that can assist in the rehabilitation of post-stroke individuals.
It is important to promote assistive technologies to improve quality of life. The proposed SmartAbility Android Application recommends assistive technologies for people with reduced physical abilities, by focussing on actions that can be performed independently.
Materials and methods
The SmartAbility Application uses Android built-in sensors, e.g., accelerometer and gyroscope and application programming interfaces (APIs) to detect physical abilities, e.g., head movements and blowing and recommend suitable assistive technologies. This is supported by a MySQL database that stores assistive technologies and mappings between abilities. The underpinning research is the SmartAbility Framework that culminates the knowledge obtained during previously feasibility trials and usability evaluations.
The Application was evaluated by pupils (n =18) at special educational needs schools with physical conditions, including cerebral palsy, autism and Noonan syndrome, and assessed through the NASA Task Load Index (TLX) and System Usability Scale (SUS). Analysis using the Adjective Rating Scale highlighted that the Application achieves “Good Usability”.
The SmartAbility Application demonstrates that built-in sensors of Android devices and their APIs, can detect actions that users perform, e.g., head movements and speaking. The Application contains a database where assistive technologies are mapped to physical abilities, in order to provide suitable recommendations. It will be disseminated to assistive technology charities and manufacturers and be used by healthcare professionals as part of the rehabilitation process. Future developments of SmartAbility include the creation of a second Application designed specifically to recommend assistive technologies for the education sector, based on users’ physical and cognitive abilities.
IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION
Assistive technology is any item, equipment or piece of software designed to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities.
SmartAbility should be introduced into rehabilitation to promote awareness of assistive technologies that are suitable for the physical abilities of the user.
Our research highlighted that physical abilities can be detected using built-in sensors of Android devices, e.g. accelerometer and gyroscope.
Involvement of the intended user community during evaluations is essential to ensure that a smartphone application is suitable for people with reduced physical abilities.
Assistive technologies can support the rehabilitation of people with reduced physical abilities by providing increased independence and improved quality of life.
Tap into an app to boost brain injury rehabilitation and coping strategies during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We’ve uncovered 20 apps cited by the NHS as useful aids to neurorehabilitation.
They can be used across a range of smartphones, tablets and computers, but ask your neurological occupational therapist for support in accessing and using them if need be.
Takes the ‘ask’ out of every task by breaking activities down into step-by-step guidance using:
Visual, text and audio prompt.
Reminders and scheduling.
New users may need initial support to record activities which can then be filed under headings such as Shopping or Food Preparation, or another name of the user’s choice.
Connect matching colours with a pipe in this app which challenges cognition, executive functioning and upper limb function.
Fun and simple, the game earned praise from RCOT members:
“Clients engage with this really well – in particular, older clients.”
“Good app to be creative within, in particular, upper limb work.”
Platforms: Apple and Android
Breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, mindfulness and a talking guide to help you manage anxiety and get to sleep.
This app also offers:
Exercises for children.
Physical exercise workouts.
Connection with other users.
Platforms: Apple and Android
Use your visual and information processing skills and memory with this free trivia app that tests your recognition of popular, worldwide brand names – and there are thousands of them!
Platform: Apple and Android
An old favourite in app form, this challenges cognition, dexterity and visual processing and offers:
Four game modes.
Over 5000 free photos for jigsaw use.
Use of your own photos.
Jigsaws for all ages.
For all ages and skill levels, this app provides easy-to-learn brain games – updated daily and with progress tracking if wanted – to improve:
Platforms: Apple and Android
Matrix Game 3
Planning and perseverance meet scanning and dragging in this puzzle that brings all sorts of skills into play:
Fine motor skills.
Platforms: Apple and Android
Word Search/Word Search Puzzler
Learn more words in English while searching for them in this puzzle app for all ages and abilities that also tests:
Fingers and arms.
OTs helped in designing this arm and finger dexterity training app which helps to improve strength and control in pointing, tracing and pinching.
It also challenges scanning and information processing skills while progress can be tracked and shared via email.
Platforms: Apple (£5.99) and Android (£5.99)
Fill your balloon-popping boots as you use finger speed, hand dexterity, coordination and vision to tap and pop the balloons as they move and fall in increasingly fast waves.
Platforms: Apple and Android
Over 200 stay at home activities for brain injury survivors and their families
Bla Bla Bla
Acommunication app to help in the recovery of voice and vocal volume control, described by RCOT members as:
“A really fun way to visually see an increase in volume”.
“Good, clear visual tool. Helpful to develop confidence, breath control and voice volume.”
Users see a variety of ‘sound-reactive’ animations on-screen which move when they speak into their device’s microphone, allowing them to practise ‘tuning’ their voices.
Create sentences and practise speaking aloud with this app to help people who cannot speak or have unclear speech.
Known as an Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) app, it can also be used by those who communicate using symbols.
Lingraphica Talkpath Therapy
More than 13,500 scientifically designed tasks to help practise language and cognitive skills in the following areas:
Speaking and listening.
Reading and writing.
Memory and reasoning.
News and daily living.
An expensive but multi-award-winning communication app that offers interactive text-to-speech and word prediction for people with speech impairments.
The user can store recordings of themselves saying familiar phrases while the intelligent word predictor learns the user’s vocal pattern for better predictions.
Platforms: Apple (£119.99) and Android (£130.80)
Another award-winning communication aid and another AAC (symbol-supported) app, this is described as “highly customisable” by an RCOT member.
It features “natural sounding voices” and fosters language development through research-based vocabularies.
Platform: Apple (£199.99)
For word articulation and apraxia and dysarthria therapy, this app gives access to almost every single-syllable word in the English language.
Users can pick and flip sounds and whole words, listen to them, record themselves saying them and play it back.
Simply talking to others can reap huge well-being benefits and this app gives you lots of reasons to start chatting!
Used by professional speech therapists, it’s packed with over 300 photographs and related questions and enables users to customise their profiles and games and set up group play.
Designed for children and adults to engage and improve communication skills, the app uses conversation prompts including:
T2 Mood Tracker
Particularly useful for people with brain injury, this app enables users to target and track their mood and fatigue levels and creates graphs showing the results.
Areas explored include:
Anxiety and stress.
Depression and well-being.
Platform: Apple and Android
Learn how the human brain works and what happens when it’s injured with this informative, inter-active app.
Zoom in and rotate around 29 structures within a 3D brain diagram for information on functions, disorders, damage, case studies and research links.
“Excellent educational/visual aid for ABI clients.” RCOT member.
Platforms: Apple and Android
Change4Life Be Food Smart/Smart Recipes
These apps support independent living skills by helping users to manage their food shopping, meals and diet.
Use the apps to check food and drink ingredients and dietary guidance, for simple recipes and fun food ideas, and to put together shopping lists.
Platform: Apple and Android.
For people with cognitive or visual impairments who want to return to driving, this hazard simulation app puts peripheral vision, attention and insight to the test.
Tap the screen when you spot a hazard!
Platforms: Apple and Android
Please share this article so others can enjoy the benefits of these apps and let us know your favourites on twitter by following us @KrysalisNeuroOT
All the apps in this article are free unless stated. Some apps can include in-app purchases, whereby an app is free to download but has limited features, purchases or subscriptions can then unlock the missing features. This should be made clear by the app developer. You can check the details of each app and any possible costs in your app store of choice.
Rehab Medical, Indianapolis, launches myRehabMedical. Available on both Android and Apple devices, the app provides customers with instant access to order updates, service requests, contact information, live chats, and product tutorials.
“Rehab Medical has a mission to improve lives, and one way we intend to accomplish this is through innovation and the use of technology,” President Kevin Gearheart says, in a media release. “This app provides our patients with a number of tools and options that will make the patient experience second to none.”
Additional app features such as live chats, virtual service support, and mobility-focused content designed to connect those within the complex rehab community will be introduced in the coming months. The app is also HIPPA compliant, requiring multi-factor identification to protect customer information.
“This organization has made a strong commitment to be our industry leader in technology, and this app is proof of that commitment,” Chief Technology Officer Kenny Hicks comments. “We’ve implemented a robust road map for improving our technology. Soon we will be launching additional features to this app, as well as adding new technology to help both our patients and partners.”
From the initial launch, customers will have a complete listing of all their orders along with a brief overview of the order once they complete registration. A comprehensive library of training videos will also provide tips and tricks on how to get the most out of their equipment.
The myRehabMedical app is now available for download in both the Google Play Store and the Apple Store, as well as online via the web.
Suffering a stroke can change how your body works in odd ways. Maybe you suddenly can’t lift your leg the way you did a few weeks before, or your arm doesn’t seem to extend properly. It’s different for every case.
Recovering from these disabilities can be an arduous process. A patient must not only struggle with his or her impairments, but also the conviction to overcome them. At the hospital, therapists coach rehabbing patients through intense exercise schedules, but after being sent home, patients won’t be monitored as closely and often stop using disabled limbs, favoring healthier body parts instead. This often results in more lost functionality.
Doctors have long been perplexed about how to effectively help patients who aren’t in the exam room or rehab clinic. Researchers and programmers are now developing a new generation of wearables that can monitor, encourage, and even treat people suffering from chronic neurological disorders like stroke, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy, as well as the essential tremors that come with Parkinson’s Disease.
“You practice, you learn — if you quit practicing, you lose your skills,” says Ballester. “We see this everywhere, whether you’re playing an instrument or in sports. Stroke patients may similarly lose some motor function.”
It’s common for rehab patients to favor their stronger muscles, usually to the detriment of debilitated fingers, hands, and legs. To remedy this, Ballester launched a pilot experiment to see if a watch-like wearable connected to a smartphone could influence patient behavior. Subjects were fitted with a bracelet-like prototype that buzzed once an hour to remind stroke sufferers to use their arms, and an app installed on a paired phone checked for movement that confirmed the patient actually followed the advice. It was a small study, monitoring just four trainees over five days, but the results were consistent: The techno nudge helped.
In March, the same team launched a follow-up study that promises to be one of the largest experiments of its kind, training and tracking 100 recovering stroke patients with a combination of smartphones and Android Wear watches.
Similar to the original homegrown bracelets, the Android watches will buzz once an hour to remind patients not to forget they need to exercise their impaired limbs. Study participants will also be able to see their usage quantified on paired smartphones. The Android Wear gyroscope makes it easier for the researchers to track the type of movements. Each patient will be asked to regularly draw circles to check the fluidity of the gesture.
Employing Android Wear is more of a practical choice than tech preference. Android watches tend to be cheaper than Apple ones or other comparable gear, and since the researchers aren’t providing phones, they’re banking on patients owning compatible gear.
Ballester projects initial data for the study will be available by December 2020. The IBEC team also plans to track the patients after they’ve stopped wearing the watches to check if the habits developed by the recurring buzzes will stick. The full results should be completed by the middle of 2021.
Wearables to monitor neurological disorders
On the other side of the Atlantic, Rutgers University professor Jean-Francois Daneault is using wearables, phones, and robotics to monitor and treat patients with a range of neurological disorders, including stroke, cerebral palsy and essential tremor. In 2019, he won a $400,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a platform that will track patients over long periods to help diagnose those impairments.
“A lot of those ailments have overlapping symptoms,” said Daneault. “Doctors who aren’t specialists can have a hard time identifying the differences between the diseases.” A well-attuned wearable, in combination with a smartphone app, can capture those often imperceptible symptoms that give a doctor the necessary stats to make an informed diagnosis.
The platform will also potentially be used to measure how symptoms may change over months and years. “People may only see their neurologists or doctors once or twice a year, for a limited amount of time, so it can be difficult to know how they’re doing,” says Daneault. A well-done app can tell a doctor if a medication is working or if the treatment needs to be adjusted.
“There are very few specialists, and they’re always booked,” he says, underscoring the need for more monitoring of patient ailments.
Though Denault is attempting to build a platform that can work with Android Wear, Apple watches, and Fitbits, the wrist-worn tech can measure more than just arm and hand actions. Gait can also be tracked with a wearable or a smartphone placed in a pocket.
One of the big challenges of making a platform that works with multiple wearables is understanding the slight differences between the gyroscopes and accelerometers embedded into each. Daneault realizes the practical challenges such a platform must overcome: The app will need to pick through a wealth of data and parse out the most relevant information, and also find ways to integrate what is learned into numerous digital health systems.
Researchers are developing parallel tech and functionality at numerous schools, hospitals, and institutions. Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are using iPads to measure the balance of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. An A.I. expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a smartwatch that can look for the signs of epilepsy seizures and predict their onset before they occur. There’s even a Google X project that uses Fitbits to help track the progression of MS symptoms.
Not all of these projects are ready for prime time, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved a few wearables that can monitor and treat neurological issues, and they are now commercially available. The Embrace wearable, for example, is a bracelet that monitors wearers for stress and potential seizures. A device called Trio, on the other hand, delivers peripheral nerve stimulation to ameliorate the symptoms of essential tremor. A clinical study of the device showed that using it decreases the amount of hand shaking, often caused by Parkinson’s disease, within three months.
Such products are just the early signs of how the treatment of neurological disorders is about to radically change.
“The future of motor rehab is not at the hospital,” says IBEC researcher Ballester. “You want patients to go home as soon as they feel safe and want to, and things are prepared at home. But you don’t want to lose track of them. You want rehab embedded in life. If it isn’t, it won’t be maintained … That’s why I see rehab in the life of the patient. Not at the hospital.”
In the clinic, in education or just for professional development mobile Apps can make a big difference to efficiency and effectiveness in physiotherapy practice. This page is intended to list all the mobile applications that might be of use to physiotherapists and physical therapists. Please feel free to add any mobile applications that you find useful and think others may find useful. Alternatively you can email your ideas to us.
Forma SafeHome LLC announces the launch of its senior home monitoring service that aims to facilitate more prolonged in-home independence for aging-in-place seniors or the disabled.
The fall detection and health monitoring customization bundle features advanced technologies integrated into ROSIE SafeHome, an all-in-one, patent-pending app designed to provide alerts, notifications, and messages that show the user if there is any unusual activity.
The app, available for download on iTunes and Google Play, is accessible on smartphones and tablets to allow family members 24/7 access into the safety of their loved ones through the coordination of these technologies, according to the Sunrise, Fla-based company:
Non-intrusive fall and motion detectors
Kitchen and stove monitoring
Outdoor doorbell camera systems
Coming soon: medication protocol monitors and more smart home technology
“Our Rosie Home Fall detector, Rosie Home Stove/Oven monitor, and Rosie Home Doorbell Cam will give peace of mind knowing your independent family members are in a safe environment,” says Scott Daub, President, Forma SafeHome LLC, in a media release.
Rich Cohen, Forma SafeHome Advisory Board Member adds, “Through the blend of innovative and non-intrusive technology, the patent-pending app gives you real-time information about falls, safety, and life patterns via your iPhone or Android device. It is affordable and gives you peace of mind about your independent-living family members in ways never previously available.”
Thought Technology Ltd announces the release of its new MyOnyx device, designed to provide surface EMG biofeedback and electrostimulation.
The handheld device is equipped with surface electromyography (sEMG) sensors that measure and display muscle activity in real time, to help the physical therapist ensure the activation of the specific muscles being targeted for treatment.
The MyOnyx system can be used for single or dual site muscle rehabilitation protocols (work/rest, rapid contractions, endurance, fine control, etc.). It provides two channels of STIM/ EMG triggered STIM and four channels of electrostimulation options, including NMES, according to the Montreal-based company in a media release.
MyOnyx is a portable, rechargeable device that offers multiple functionality modes, which include the following, the release continues:
Standalone mode, where the user can select and run ESTIM protocols.
Remote control mode, which allows the use of an Android device, with the MyOnyx app, to select and run SEMG biofeedback, EMG-triggered stim and ESTIM sessions remotely and view session activity in real time. The app also provides pre-programmed biofeedback sessions that keep clients engaged.
PC Control mode, which enables MyOnyx to connect to a Windows computer and run Thought Technology’s BioGraph software to expand the possibilities of SEMG biofeedback. The MyOnyx Suite includes assessments and biofeedback options.
Two purchase options are available: the basic model, which can run in Standalone mode and comes with the Android app for remote control functionality; and the extended model, which includes all the hardware and software components needed to run MyOnyx in PC Controlled mode.
The ultimate reference tool for physiotherapists has arrived on IOS and Android!
You asked and we listened, the Physiopedia app is here and waiting for you to download this holiday season. The app is free and brings all of Physiopedia’s articles, which have been beautifully optimised for mobile, to your fingertips. Think of it as Physiopedia’s end of year gift to you.
The app is free however there is an optional, but worthwhile, low cost monthly subscription which allows you to add unlimited articles to your own personal list of favorites within the app. These bookmarked articles are then just one tap away and are also downloaded for offline viewing. Ideal for the busy clinical environment where time is short and internet access cannot be guaranteed.
One of the best free features of the app is Article of the Day where each day there is a new exciting high quality page for you to read. Perfect for a small dose of CPD or great for that inspirational spark when on the go or when waiting for patients to arrive.
Don’t just take our word for how good the app is! Below are some reviews of the app written by the physiotherapy community which explain why it is a must have for physiotherapists working in any setting.
What an amazing app. All the information you could ever want at your fingertips and more. Each topic has links so if you want to you can investigate further. This is the best source of physio information I have come across in my quest for knowledge and answers!
I recognise this as an incredibly powerful resource. This changes how in a Low-and-Middle-Income-Countries (LAMIC) we can access current, best-practice knowledge. This allows the development of the profession globally in a consistent and reliable way… I can see this will become a regular go-to resource. Great job Physiopedia!
Clinically useful and based in science! I have been waiting for an App like this for a long time. I work both in a clinic and as a researcher and Physiopedia meets my needs in both worlds. Easy to use, cutting-edge scientific information and connects me to other health care providers around the world. Great App, highly recommend it!
The app is really easy to download from both the App Store and Google Play in fact just follow the links to the relevant store below. Once you’ve downloaded the app and had a look around don’t forget to like and leave a review.