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[ARTICLE] Media: Home exercise programs made effortless using the PhysioTherapy eXercises patient app – Journal of Physiotherapy

PhysioTherapy eXercises website: www.physiotherapyexercises.com

PhysioTherapy eXercises is a publicly available website, created by Harvey, Messenger, Glinsky, Pattie and a collaboration of physiotherapists. It was designed as a resource for creating and distributing home exercise programs. The website has a database of images, videos and instructions for over 1000 exercises focusing on impairments (strength, balance, range of motion, and cardiovascular fitness), and activities (reaching and manipulation, sit to stand, transfers, and mobility), and is available in 13 different languages. The exercises are evidence-based and include exercises for children through to the elderly, as well as exercises targeting specific populations, such as acute and degenerative neurological conditions, and musculoskeletal conditions, including whiplash and hand injuries. The Physiotherapy Exercises App is one feature of this web-based software and is the focus of this review.

The Physiotherapy Exercises App is free and can be used on both Apple and Android tablets and phones. The app is designed for patients to use, and allows them to access their prescribed home exercise program on their devices, record their progress online, and share this information remotely with their therapist. A recent randomised, controlled trial reported that using the Physiotherapy Exercises App increased adherence to home exercise programs when compared with paper-based methods.1

The therapist designs a home exercise program by selecting relevant exercises from the database and scheduling the frequency and duration of the exercises using the PhysioTherapy eXercises website. The patient then accesses and installs the Physiotherapy Exercises App via a link embedded in an email or smart phone text message that is sent from the website. Once the app is installed, patients have direct access to their home exercise program. The app allows patients to view their program, record completion of each exercise, and provide feedback to the therapist via a ‘notes’ function. The therapist has the ability to remotely monitor the patient’s exercise adherence, review notes recorded by the patient, and adjust the program as required by logging onto the website. Therapists can also receive a notification via an email when a patient’s adherence has decreased below a set threshold, which can be adjusted by the therapist for each patient.

Ease of use

Overall, the design of the Physiotherapy Exercises App is straightforward and the basic features are easy to use. My experience suggests that patients who already use the Internet and/or mobile devices are willing to use the Physiotherapy Exercises App, and use it successfully. Patients with limited technology experience are able to use the app successfully if provided with assistance to download the app and are given a demonstration of how to use it. Once the app has been downloaded, patients have two options: view the exercises that are to be completed on that day via the home screen (Figure 1A); or touch the screen to access the illustration, aims, instructions and dosage for each exercise (Figure 1B). Similarly, recording of the completed exercises can be done by ticking the ‘done all’ box on the home screen or ticking a box on each screen for an individual exercise. Patients can record completing an exercise even if it is not scheduled for a particular day. Notes can be added on each screen that details an individual exercise.

Figure 1 Opens large image

Figure 1
A. Example of the home screen of an exercise program on the Physiotherapy Exercises App. B. Example of an individual exercise screen, including illustration, patient’s aims, patient’s instructions, instructions for repetitions and the exercise schedule. The black boxes indicate the days the exercise has been scheduled, and ticks indicate that the patient has completed those exercises on that day.

From the perspective of therapist use, the home exercise program is prescribed and monitored by logging directly onto the website. The website has an extensive help section to assist the therapist if required.

Strengths and limitations

The Physiotherapy Exercises App is very well designed for clinical use. One of the key strengths is that patients can only access their home exercise program once it has been prescribed to them by a therapist, which ensures that patients complete exercises appropriate for their rehabilitation. Another valuable feature is that once the Physiotherapy Exercises App has been downloaded, there is no requirement for the patient to login or remember passwords. Other strengths are that the interface is easy to understand, and patients receive detailed information about each exercise, including the aims of the exercise, illustrations, instructions on how to complete the exercise, dosage, precautions, and progressions. Furthermore, therapists have the ability to select what information the patient views on the app and/or modify the instructions and information if required. When the home exercise program is updated online, all changes occur in real time.

Limitations of the Physiotherapy Exercises App are that few patients use all the features of the app, for example the notes function. My experience using the app with people who have Parkinson’s disease is that most people primarily use the app to view and record completion of their home exercise programs. Further encouragement by the therapist is necessary to ensure regular use of the notes function, if desired. At present, patients do not receive an alert via the Physiotherapy Exercises App that their program has been updated; it simply changes on the home screen. Consequently, if the program is updated independently of a consultation, an additional form of communication may be required to inform the patient of changes made.

Conclusion

Overall, the Physiotherapy Exercises App is an excellent and easy to use clinical resource. Increasing the use of devices to provide home exercise programs directly to patients is highly desirable and resource-efficient. It gives patients access to their home exercise program at all times, facilitates self-management, and, importantly, increases communication between the patient and therapist. The advantages of the Physiotherapy Exercises Appare that it is freely available, has an extensive range of exercises covering both musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, and is easy to use for both therapist and patient. Combined with the ability to remotely monitor patients’ adherence to the home exercise program, the Physiotherapy Exercises App has been a valuable addition to my clinical practice and role as a clinical educator.

Reference

  1. Lambert, T. et al. J Physiother201763161–167

View in Article – Abstract – Full Text –  Full Text PDF – PubMed – Scopus (3) – Google Scholar

 

via Media: Home exercise programs made effortless using the PhysioTherapy eXercises patient app – Journal of Physiotherapy

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[WEB SITE] 17 Apps That Can Make Life Easier With Brain Fog and Chronic Illness

If you struggle with brain fog due to chronic illness or medication, it can be difficult to keep track of all your doctor appointments, medications and symptoms – not to mention all your other responsibilities, such as work, chores or taking care of your family. Staying organized and remembering everything you put on your mental to-do list can be a challenge for anyone, but with brain fog and a chronic illness thrown into the mix, it becomes especially important to find the methods that most help you stay on top of things.

For many with chronic illness, smartphones can be a lifesaver. Many of us carry our phones everywhere we go anyway, so utilizing them as a tool to keep track of our lives and our illnesses can be extremely helpful. Most smartphones nowadays come with apps already programmed in, such as a notepad, a calendar or a voice memo recorder, which are simple, easy to use and great for jotting down important notes or dates.

However, if you struggle with brain fog and are looking for a different way to organize your notes, lists, calendar and medical information, then there are a number of other apps you may find to be extremely useful.

To help you manage your personal life, professional life, and physical and mental health, we asked our Mighty community to share which apps help them navigate their day-to-day lives despite the effects of brain fog. Here are their recommendations.

Just so you know, we’ve selected these links to make shopping easier for you. We do not receive any funds from purchases or downloads you make.

1. Habitica

habitica screenshot

Habitica is a video game that allows you to “gamify” your life by turning your daily activities and to-do lists into monsters to conquer. It can help motivate you to change your habits by giving you in-game incentives every time you complete a task. You can play on your computer or download the app for either iOS and Android.

Jess Van Meter told The Mighty, “It’s amazing. It helps me pretend my life is a video game and doing self-care, building habits and performing daily tasks actually does help me ‘level up.’ It has a built in community and reward system too.”

Sara Wilson added, “I can put as many tasks on it as I want, little or large, and it’s also a game, so I get coins whenever I complete a task! I can set up IRL [in real life] rewards for myself for earning so many coins and that helps keep me motivated. I check it several times a day and one last time before bed. I put everything on there from medications to everyday tasks to important, one-time events.”

Download Habitica for free from Apple or Google Play.

2. Medisafe

medisafe

Medisafe helps you keep track of which medications you need to take and when. Each day is divided into four quadrants – morning, afternoon, evening, night – with visual representations of which pills you should be taking at which time. The app will send you reminders when it’s time to take your pills, and it also provides you with information about each medication. Physicians and pharmacists are also able to connect with patients and communicate through Medisafe.

“It has the details of all my meds and alerts me to what I need to take and when. I always forget to take anything without the app reminders! Now I only have to worry about brain fog making me forget if I actually did take the meds it told me to before I pressed the ‘take all’ button,” Amie Addison wrote.

“It reminds me to take my meds and business calendar reminds me of all my day to day stuff,” Marnie Dueck told us.

Download Medisafe for free from Apple or Google Play.

3. Daylio

daylio screenshots

Daylio is a mobile diary that lets you easily track how you’re feeling and what you’re doing. Over time, the app can help you discover patterns in your moods, behavior and activities so you can make changes to your daily routine that will help you to feel your best.

Liberty White wrote, “Great for symptom tracking and customizing. It beeps at the end of the day and I tell it how my day went. It tracks trends in my activities (or lack of activities) and helps me keep track of when I’m having a bad time.”

Download Daylio for free from Apple or Google Play.

4. Flaredown

flaredown app

Flaredown was made just for people with chronic illness as a way to track symptoms, record treatments and reactions, track triggers and connect with others who have similar conditions. There are also places where you can easily note other important parts of your day, such as what you ate, what the weather was like, and any activities or events that took place.

“By far my favorite app to track my various symptoms!” Bay Howe said. “Makes it much easier to discuss symptoms and illnesses when you can remember what they are and when they happen.”

Download Flaredown for free from Apple or Google Play.

5. Evernote

evernote app

Evernote is a note-taking app that helps you stay organized in your personal and/or professional life. You can add notes in a variety of forms, including text, sketches, photos, audio, video, PDF and web clippings, and have everything saved in one place.

Morgan Storm Ray said, “I use Evernote. I also have memory loss so it helps with that too. It is a simple note-taking app. But it has a bunch of different ways to take notes. By voice, picture, text, etc.”

Jess N. Law added, “Evernote – for notes on anything and everything I can’t remember. I also use it to record meetings because multitasking has gotten too difficult.”

Download Evernote Basic for free from Apple or Google Play.

6. CareZone

carezone app

CareZone offers patients a simple way to keep track of all their medical information. Several of its features include a journal for documenting symptoms, to-do lists, contacts (doctors, pharmacies, insurance providers, etc.), medication information (names, dosages, reminders for when it’s time to refill, etc.) and a calendar for keeping track of appointments and other important dates. Any information you input remains private and secure.

Nancy Lea Martine Koontz told us, “I use CareZone which includes all kinds of daily trackers and makes sharing information with doctors quite easy.“

Download CareZone for free from Apple or Google Play.

7. Asana

asana

For those who work with a company or business, Asana is an app that can help you and your team stay organized, manage projects and track your progress. This app allows you to create project task lists and personal to-do lists, track when work is due with a calendar and converse with coworkers about various tasks or projects.

“[I use] Asana – a project management app. I can list phone calls, emails, work, everything I need to do today or in the future. It’s free and has saved my business,” Jess N. Law wrote.

Download Asana for free from Apple or Google Play.

8. myHomework

myhomework app

The myHomework app is a virtual planner for students. You can track when assignments, essays or projects are due, track your class schedule and receive due date or test reminders.

“I’m a full-time student,” said Eri Rhodes. “The myHomework app is critical to me not forgetting due dates.”

Download myHomework Basic for free from AppleGoogle PlayMicrosoft or Amazon.

9. Microsoft OneNote

microsoft onenote

Microsoft OneNote is a place you can jot down any important notes, information or thoughts that cross your mind – in whichever way works best for you. You can type, write, draw, make to-do lists or clip things from the web, and OneNote keeps everything organized and easy to find.

“I have OneNote on my phone. It’s basically an electronic notebook and you can make as many [notes] as you want, but I find it helpful because if I want to remember something for later, I can just open it and type it out then go back to look at it later when I need the information. Also have it on my computer and tablet all connected so I always have access to it,” said Chelsea Smith.

Download Microsoft OneNote from MicrosoftApple or Google Play.

10. MyTherapy

mytherapy app

MyTherapy gives you reminders when it’s time to take your medication, take measurements or do exercises, and it also serves as a journal where you can track your symptoms and overall health.

Anna A. Legault told us, “MyTherapy helps me remember medications, measurements and log symptoms.”

Download MyTherapy for free from Apple or Google Play.

11. TaoMix 2

taomix 2 app

Living with chronic illness and brain fog can be stressful, and while it’s important to keep track of your physical health, caring for your mental health is necessary, too. TaoMix 2 provides you with soundscapes you can mix and match to help you relax or meditate. Whether you’re soothed by the sounds of waves crashing on the beach or the quiet chatter of people in a café, this app can help take your mind off the stresses of chronic illness.

All kinds of reminders and calendar apps are a must,” said Irma-Helen Lorentzon. “But something that really helps me is TaoMix – it has great nature sounds and I use it to help my brain focus and/or relax.”

Download TaoMix 2 for free from Apple or Google Play.

12. Google Calendar

google calendar app

Google Calendar can help you keep track of important dates or events. You can view the calendar by day, week or month, color code events and, if you use Gmail, import dates from there. You can also schedule reminders to give you a heads up about upcoming events.

Tiffany Anne told us, “I use Google Calendar to remind myself if I need to bring something somewhere, follow up on something or anything that requires reminders since I pay attention to those.”

Heather Jo Skidmore said, “Google Calendar. One for work, one for my MA program, one for my three kids’ activities. Color coded, and shared with my husband.”

Download Google Calendar app for free from Apple or Google Play.

13. ColorNote

colornote app

This Android app lets you make color-coded notes and checklists to help you stay organized. You can also set reminders for each note to make sure you get each task done on time.

Christine Cousins wrote, “I love ColorNote. I can make checklists for groceries or things I need to get done or write myself notes about things I need to discuss with my doctors so I’m prepared for my appointment. The app automatically backs everything up, so when my phone took a swim and I downloaded ColorNote on a new device, all of my stuff was there!”

Download ColorNote for free from Google Play or Amazon.

14. Stop, Breathe & Think

stop, breathe & think app

This meditation app encourages you to stop what you’re doing and check in with how you’re feeling, practice some mindful breathing and think deeply to broaden your perspectives and increase your level of relaxation.

“SBT is an amazing app that allows you to rate how you’re feeling physically and mentally and specify certain emotions. It then tabulates and suggests meditation/mindfulness exercises in order to attend to whatever issues you’re experiencing. Once finished with an exercise, you can again rate how you’re feeling. You can earn stickers as you accomplish certain exercises, and it keeps track of your emotional and physical check-ins. Pretty cool,” Meghan Leigh explained.

Download Stop, Breathe & Think for free from Apple or Google Play or use on your web browser.

15. ICE Contact

ice app

If you have a medical condition and ever find yourself in an emergency situation, an ICE (In Case of Emergency) app may be of use. You can store all your personal and medical information here for either yourself or others to access in an emergency. Having this information handy can also be useful if you struggle with brain fog.

Stephanie Bowman told us, “I use an ICE app. It stores a list of all my illnesses, medication, people to contact and my allergies. I’m never stuck when put on the spot to think of important information.”

Download ICE for free from Apple.

16. Cozi

cozi app

Cozi is an organization app specifically designed for families. You can keep all of your family’s activities and appointments in one place, and create checklists (grocery lists, chore lists, to-do lists, etc.) to share with other family members.

Crystal Dewey said, “It’s a calendar app on steroids! It connects with my family members, sends reminders, we can all add to-do and grocery lists… It’s my electronic brain!”

Download Cozi for free from AppleGoogle Play or Microsoft.

17. Waze

waze app

Waze is a navigation app that lets you know what traffic conditions are like in real time and which route you should take. Waze can also give you reminders when it’s time to leave based on both the time you need to arrive and current traffic. After you arrive at your destination, park your car and close Waze, it will automatically drop a pin to remind you later on exactly where you parked.

Jess N. Law recommends integrating Waze with Google Calendar. “Reminds me of everything I have planned and when to leave. Lifesaver some days.”

Download Waze for free from Apple or Google Play.

 

via 17 Apps That Can Make Life Easier With Brain Fog and Chronic Illness | The Mighty

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[Article in Press] Home exercise programs made effortless using the PhysioTherapy eXercises patient app – Full Text

PhysioTherapy eXercises website: www.physiotherapyexercises.com

PhysioTherapy eXercises is a publicly available website, created by Harvey, Messenger, Glinsky, Pattie and a collaboration of physiotherapists. It was designed as a resource for creating and distributing home exercise programs. The website has a database of images, videos and instructions for over 1000 exercises focusing on impairments (strength, balance, range of motion, and cardiovascular fitness), and activities (reaching and manipulation, sit to stand, transfers, and mobility), and is available in 13 different languages. The exercises are evidence-based and include exercises for children through to the elderly, as well as exercises targeting specific populations, such as acute and degenerative neurological conditions, and musculoskeletal conditions, including whiplash and hand injuries. The Physiotherapy Exercises App is one feature of this web-based software and is the focus of this review.

The Physiotherapy Exercises App is free and can be used on both Apple and Android tablets and phones. The app is designed for patients to use, and allows them to access their prescribed home exercise program on their devices, record their progress online, and share this information remotely with their therapist. A recent randomised, controlled trial reported that using the Physiotherapy Exercises App increased adherence to home exercise programs when compared with paper-based methods.1

The therapist designs a home exercise program by selecting relevant exercises from the database and scheduling the frequency and duration of the exercises using the PhysioTherapy eXercises website. The patient then accesses and installs the Physiotherapy Exercises App via a link embedded in an email or smart phone text message that is sent from the website. Once the app is installed, patients have direct access to their home exercise program. The app allows patients to view their program, record completion of each exercise, and provide feedback to the therapist via a ‘notes’ function. The therapist has the ability to remotely monitor the patient’s exercise adherence, review notes recorded by the patient, and adjust the program as required by logging onto the website. Therapists can also receive a notification via an email when a patient’s adherence has decreased below a set threshold, which can be adjusted by the therapist for each patient.

Ease of use

Overall, the design of the Physiotherapy Exercises App is straightforward and the basic features are easy to use. My experience suggests that patients who already use the Internet and/or mobile devices are willing to use the Physiotherapy Exercises App, and use it successfully. Patients with limited technology experience are able to use the app successfully if provided with assistance to download the app and are given a demonstration of how to use it. Once the app has been downloaded, patients have two options: view the exercises that are to be completed on that day via the home screen (Figure 1A); or touch the screen to access the illustration, aims, instructions and dosage for each exercise (Figure 1B). Similarly, recording of the completed exercises can be done by ticking the ‘done all’ box on the home screen or ticking a box on each screen for an individual exercise. Patients can record completing an exercise even if it is not scheduled for a particular day. Notes can be added on each screen that details an individual exercise.

Figure 1

Enter a caption

From the perspective of therapist use, the home exercise program is prescribed and monitored by logging directly onto the website. The website has an extensive help section to assist the therapist if required.

Strengths and limitations

The Physiotherapy Exercises App is very well designed for clinical use. One of the key strengths is that patients can only access their home exercise program once it has been prescribed to them by a therapist, which ensures that patients complete exercises appropriate for their rehabilitation. Another valuable feature is that once the Physiotherapy Exercises App has been downloaded, there is no requirement for the patient to login or remember passwords. Other strengths are that the interface is easy to understand, and patients receive detailed information about each exercise, including the aims of the exercise, illustrations, instructions on how to complete the exercise, dosage, precautions, and progressions. Furthermore, therapists have the ability to select what information the patient views on the app and/or modify the instructions and information if required. When the home exercise program is updated online, all changes occur in real time.

Limitations of the Physiotherapy Exercises App are that few patients use all the features of the app, for example the notes function. My experience using the app with people who have Parkinson’s disease is that most people primarily use the app to view and record completion of their home exercise programs. Further encouragement by the therapist is necessary to ensure regular use of the notes function, if desired. At present, patients do not receive an alert via the Physiotherapy Exercises App that their program has been updated; it simply changes on the home screen. Consequently, if the program is updated independently of a consultation, an additional form of communication may be required to inform the patient of changes made.

Conclusion

Overall, the Physiotherapy Exercises App is an excellent and easy to use clinical resource. Increasing the use of devices to provide home exercise programs directly to patients is highly desirable and resource-efficient. It gives patients access to their home exercise program at all times, facilitates self-management, and, importantly, increases communication between the patient and therapist. The advantages of the Physiotherapy Exercises Appare that it is freely available, has an extensive range of exercises covering both musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, and is easy to use for both therapist and patient. Combined with the ability to remotely monitor patients’ adherence to the home exercise program, the Physiotherapy Exercises App has been a valuable addition to my clinical practice and role as a clinical educator.

Reference

  1. Lambert, T. et al. J Physiother201763161–167

View in Article   Abstract   Full Text   Full Text PDF   PubMed   Scopus (1)  Google Scholar

 

via Home exercise programs made effortless using the PhysioTherapy eXercises patient app – Journal of Physiotherapy

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[Thesis] Mobile Tablet-Based Stroke Rehabilitation in the Acute Care Setting – uOttawa Research

Title: Mobile Tablet-Based Stroke Rehabilitation in the Acute Care Setting
Authors: Pugliese, Michael
Date: 2017
Abstract: Introduction: The number of stroke survivors living with post-stroke deficits is increasing worldwide. Although stroke rehabilitation can improve these deficits and promote the recovery of function when initiated early post-stroke, many survivors are not able to access rehabilitation because of a lack of resources. Early mobile tablet-based stroke rehabilitation may be a feasible means of improving access to recovery promoting therapies.

Objective: To summarize and advance the knowledge of early mobile tablet-based therapies (MTBTs) for stroke survivors with regards to feasibility and barriers to care.

Methods: This thesis is comprised of two major studies. (1) A scoping review summarizing the literature for MTBTs following stroke. (2) A cohort study testing the feasibility of a MTBT for post-stroke communication, cognitive, and fine-motor deficits.

Results: (1) Twenty-three studies of MTBTs following stroke were identified. Most of these therapies targeted communication or fine-motor deficits, and involved patients in the chronic stages of stroke. Barriers to care were summarized. (2) A 48% recruitment rate was achieved and therapy was administered a median of four days post-stroke. However, therapy adherence was very low because of frequently encountered barriers to care.

Conclusions: Stroke survivors are interested in using tablet technology to assist with their post-stroke recovery. However, early MTBT post-stroke may be challenging for some survivors because of encountered barriers to care. Regular patient-therapist communication using a convenient method of interaction appears necessary to minimize barriers and to help patients overcome barriers when they occur.

URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/37016
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-21288
Collection Thèses, 2011 – // Theses, 2011 –

Full Text PDF

via Recherche uO Research: Mobile Tablet-Based Stroke Rehabilitation in the Acute Care Setting

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[WEB SITE] New Anatomy VR App Lets You Look Inside Your Own Body

IN BRIEF

Curiscope, a startup, aims to blend VR and AR. Their Virtuali-Tee allows users to take a peek inside their own chest cavities.

TAKE A LOOK AT YOURSELF

Most people feel confident that they know a fair amount about their own body, in terms of general health and what they look like from the outside. However, most of us haven’t taken a look inside—literally speaking. Ed Barton and his UK-based startup Curiscope is hoping to change that with a unique blend of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Using an anatomy VR app and the company’s Virtuali-Tee, a t-shirt, they are allowing people to see inside of their own chest cavities.

Barton explained to Wired: “We use a mix of VR and AR to see inside the anatomy…With positionally tracked AR, you can position VR experiences physically within your environment.”

Barton and Curiscope co-founder Ben Kidd have so far raised almost $1 million in seed funding from LocalGlobe, and they’ve already sold almost 3,000 of the Virtuali-Tees.

HIGH TECH T-SHIRT

Barton told Wired that, using positional tracking, “we have a blurring of physical and digital items, and an experience more tightly connected to reality.” He continued, “With the Virtuali-Tee, AR is your interface and VR is used to transport you somewhere else. The technologies should be merging.”

This technology works using a highly-stylized QR code printed onto the front of the t-shirt. When you scan the code with the corresponding app, you can explore throughout the chest cavity, including the heart and lungs.

AR technology hit the mainstream with the release of Pokémon Go, but its applications have shown that it can reach far beyond games. From smartphone usage to vehicle blueprint design, AR is quickly developing. The combination of both AR and VR could not only make the Virtuali-Tee device fully immersive, but also lead to a whole host of other technologies that combine AR and VR.

This t-shirt, specifically, could be a fantastic tool for the curious. It can be used for educational purposes, allowing anatomy and biology to be a fun experience that students can really wrap their minds around. Even outside of a formal educational setting, this device could allow us to better connect with our own biology. Virtuali-Tee could help people to better understand their own inner workings, and how the things we do every day—from what we eat to how we exercise—might affect our health.

Source: New Anatomy VR App Lets You Look Inside Your Own Body

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[WEB SITE] Mental Fatigue – University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Mental fatigue or brain fatigue

Mental fatigue can be a disabling consequence of traumatic brain injury, stroke, infection or inflammation in the Central Nervous System (CNS). The condition is characterized by pronounced mental fatigue after moderate mental activity. Pronounced fatigue can appear very rapidly and, when it does, it is not possible for the affected person to continue the activity. Typical for this kind of fatigue is a profound, long recovery time to get one’s mental energy back. Attention cannot be maintained for more than short periods. Other common associated symptoms are: irritability, tearfulness, sound and light sensitivity as well as headaches.

Read more under About Mental Fatigue.

Measure mental fatigue with an app.  Androids and Windows. Coming soon for iPhone.

Android

Windows 10

Contact information

Lars Rönnbäck, professor and senior physician in neurology

Birgitta Johansson, Ph.D., specialist in neuropsychology

Institute of neuroscience and physiology
Department of clinical neuroscience and rehabilitation
Sahlgrenska Academy
University of Gothenburg Sweden

mf@gu.se

Source: Mental Fatigue – Mental Fatigue, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

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[WEB SITE] A New Way for Therapists to Get Inside Heads: Virtual Reality – The New York Times

Myla Fay, a product designer for Limbix, testing the start-up company’s virtual-reality therapy software with a headset in its offices in Palo Alto, Calif. Psychologists can use virtual reality to provide exposure therapy to patients confronting anxiety. Credit: Jason Henry for The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Dawn Jewell recently treated a patient haunted by a car crash. The patient had developed acute anxiety over the cross streets where the crash occurred, unable to drive a route that carried so many painful memories.

So Dr. Jewell, a psychologist in Colorado, treated the patient through a technique called exposure therapy, providing emotional guidance as they revisited the intersection together.

But they did not physically return to the site. They revisited it through virtual reality.

Dr. Jewell is among a handful of psychologists testing a new service from a Silicon Valley start-up called Limbix that offers exposure therapy through Daydream View, the Google headset that works in tandem with a smartphone.

“It provides exposure in a way that patients feel safe,” she said. “We can go to a location together, and the patient can tell me what they’re feeling and what they’re thinking.”

The service recreates outdoor locations by tapping into another Google product, Street View, a vast online database of photos that delivers panoramic scenes of roadways and other locations around the world. Using these virtual street scenes, Dr. Jewell has treated a second patient who struggled with anxiety after being injured by another person outside a local building.

A virtual reality therapy test using Limbix to simulate driving over a bridge. Credit: Limbix

The service is also designed to provide treatment in other ways, like taking patients to the top of a virtual skyscraper so they can face a fear of heights or to a virtual bar so they can address an alcohol addiction.

Backed by the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, Limbix is less than a year old. The creators of its new service, including its chief executive and co-founder, Benjamin Lewis, worked in the seminal virtual reality efforts at Google and Facebook.

The hardware and software they are working with is still very young, but Limbix builds on more than two decades of research and clinical trials involving virtual reality and exposure therapy. At a time when much-hyped headsets like the Daydream and Facebook’s Oculus are still struggling to find a wide audience in the world of gaming — let alone other markets — psychology is an area where technology and medical experts believe this technology can be a benefit.

As far back as the mid-1990s, clinical trials showed that this kind of technology could help treat phobias and other conditions, like post-traumatic stress disorder.

Virtual reality cameras at Limbix. The creators of the service worked on virtual reality efforts at Facebook and Google. Credit: Jason Henry for The New York Times

Traditionally, psychologists have treated such conditions by helping patients imagine they are facing a fear, mentally creating a situation where they can address their anxieties. Virtual reality takes this a step further.

“We feel pretty confident that exposure therapy using V.R. can supplement what a patient’s imagination alone can do,” said Skip Rizzo, a clinical psychologist at the University of Southern California who has explored such technology over the past 20 years.

Barbara Rothbaum helped pioneer the practice at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and her work spawned a company called Virtually Better, which has long offered virtual reality exposure therapy tools to some doctors and hospitals through an older breed of headset. According to one clinical trial she helped build, virtual reality was just as effective as trips to airports in treating the fear of flying, with 90 percent of patients eventually conquering their anxieties.

Such technology has also been effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans. Unlike treatments built solely on imagination, Dr. Rothbaum said, virtual reality can force patients to face their past traumas.

“PTSD is a disorder of avoidance. People don’t want to think about it,” she said. “We need them to be engaged emotionally, and with virtual reality, it’s harder for them to avoid that.”

The founder of Oculus, Palmer Luckey, demonstrating the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset and Oculus Touch hand controllers in 2015. Credit: Ramin Talaie for The New York Times

Now, headsets like Google’s Daydream, which works in tandem with common smartphones, and Facebook’s Oculus, the self-contained $400 headset that sparked the recent resurgence in virtual reality technologies, could potentially bring this kind of therapy to a much wider audience.

Virtually Better built its technology for virtual reality hardware that sold for several thousands of dollars. Today, Limbix and other companies, including a Spanish start-up called Psious, can offer services that are far less expensive. This week, Limbix is beginning to offer its tools to psychologists and other therapists outside its initial test. The service is free for now, with the company planning to sell more advanced tools at some point.

The Limbix mobile app for virtual-reality therapy. The service is free for now, and the company plans to sell more advanced tools in the future. Credit: Limbix

After testing the Limbix offering, Dr. Jewell said it allowed patients to face their anxieties in more controlled ways than they otherwise could. At the same time, such a tool can truly give patients the feeling that they are being transported to a different locations — at least in some cases.

Standing atop a virtual skyscraper, for instance, can cause anxiety even in those who are relatively comfortable with heights. Experts warn that a service like the one offered by Limbix requires the guiding hand of trained psychologists while still in development.

Limbix combines technical and medical expertise. One key employee, Scott Satkin, is a robotics and artificial intelligence researcher who worked on the Daydream project at Google. Limbix also works with its own psychologist, Sean Sullivan, who continues to run a therapy practice in San Francisco.

Dr. Sullivan is using the new service to treat patients, including a young man who recently developed a fear of flying, something that causes anxiety simply when he talks about it. Using the service alongside Dr. Sullivan, the young man, who asked that his name be withheld for privacy reasons spent several sessions visiting a virtual airport and, eventually, flying on a virtual plane.

In some ways, the young man said, the service is still less than perfect. Like the Street View scenes Dr. Jewell uses in treating her patients, some of this virtual reality is static, built from still images. But like the rest of the virtual reality market, these tools are still evolving toward more realistic scenes.

And even in its current form, the service can be convincing. The young man recently took a flight across the country — here in the real world.

The New York Times

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[WEB SITE] Caregiving Issues and Strategies

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Whether you’re trying to work out a care plan for your aging parents with  your siblings, or searching online for the latest app to assist you with your ill spouse’s medication reminders, FCA’s resources on Caregiving Issues and Strategies offer a wealth of information. This section provides you with practical care strategies, stress relief, available community resources, how to handle family issues, as well as hands-on care.

Source: Family Caregiver Alliance

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[Cochrane Review] Activity monitors for increasing physical activity in adult stroke survivors – Full Text

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Abstract

This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows:

To summarise the available evidence regarding the effectiveness of commercially available wearable devices and smart phone applications for increasing physical activity levels for people with stroke.

Background

Description of the condition

Between 1990 and 2010 absolute numbers of people living with stroke increased by 84% worldwide, and stroke is now the third leading cause of disability globally (Feigin 2014). As such, the disease burden of stroke is substantial. It has been estimated that 91% of the burden of stroke is attributable to modifiable risk factors such as smoking, poor diet, and low levels of physical activity (Feigin 2016). A low level of physical activity (less than four hours per week) is the second highest population-attributable risk factor for stroke, second only to hypertension (O’Donnell 2016). The promotion of physical activity, which has been defined as body movement produced by skeletal muscles resulting in energy expenditure (Caspersen 1985), is therefore an important health intervention for people with stroke.

The association between health and physical activity is well established. Prolonged, unbroken bouts of sitting is a distinct health risk independent of time engaged in regular exercise (Healy 2008). There is evidence from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies that high sitting time and low levels of physical activity contribute to poor glycaemic control (Owen 2010). Three systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational studies have confirmed that, after adjusting for other demographic and behavioural risk factors, physical activity is inversely associated with all-cause mortality in men and women (Nocon 2008; Löllgen 2009; Woodcock 2011). Yet despite this knowledge, populations worldwide are becoming more sedentary, and physical inactivity has been labelled a global pandemic (Kohl 2012).

In addition to overcoming the sedentary lifestyles and habits prevalent in many modern societies, people with stroke have additional barriers to physical activity such as weakness, sensory dysfunction, reduced balance, and fatigue (Billinger 2014). Directly after a stroke, people should be admitted to hospital for co-ordinated care and commencement of rehabilitation (SUTC 2013). Early rehabilitation after stroke is frequently focused on the recovery of physical independence (Pollock 2014). Recovery after stroke is enhanced by active practice of specific tasks, and greater improvements are seen when people with stroke spend more time in active practice (Veerbeek 2014). Yet findings from research conducted around the world indicate that people in the first few weeks and months after stroke are physically inactive in hospital settings with around 80% of the day spent inactive (sitting or lying) (West 2012). These high levels of inactivity are concerning because recovering the ability to walk independently is an important goal of people with stroke. The reported paucity of standing and walking practice in the early phase after stroke potentially limits the opportunities of people with stroke to optimise functional recovery, particularly for standing and walking goals. Further, physical inactivity may lead to an increased risk of hospital-acquired complications, such as pressure ulcers, pneumonia, and cardiac compromise (Lindgren 2004).

Physical activity levels of people with stroke remain lower than their age-matched counterparts even when they return to living in the community (English 2016). Community-dwelling stroke survivors spend the vast majority of their waking time sitting down (English 2014). Promisingly, early research suggests that increasing physical activity in people with stroke is feasible, and that an increase in physical activity levels after stroke may have a positive impact on fatigue, mood, community participation, and quality of life (QoL) (Graven 2011; Duncan 2015).

Continue —> Activity monitors for increasing physical activity in adult stroke survivors – Lynch – 2017 – The Cochrane Library – Wiley Online Library

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[WEB SITE] Exercise Prescription Software – Physical Therapy Web

Any tool that can help people be more active and involved in their own rehabilitation is worthwhile. An increase in patient compliance can be achieved by making exercise programs easier to adhere to. Clear descriptions of how to perform exercises correctly is also critical to the success of any exercise program. Here is a list of software applications that allow physical therapists to create specific exercise programs for their patients. The list is not complete. If you know of a product that should be included or if you’d like to have your exercise prescription software reviewed, please let us know.

exercise prescription software - diagram

By Udrekeli [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Arena Health Systems: Creators of Phys-X software

“Phys-X Advanced includes over 900 of the most often prescribed range of motion, stabilization and strengthening exercises (categories listed below) and includes Full Color Photographs for most exercises! Each exercise includes an illustration and specific easy to follow instructions that allow on-the-fly modification. The exercises can even be printed with Spanish instructions.”

BPM Rx: Exercise prescription for health and fitness professionals

“Whether you’re a personal trainer or physical therapist, exercise prescription is your life. BPM Rx is the ultimate PT Software that allows you to craft stunning exercise handouts that will inspire like never before! Try it out-the first week is free!”

BioEx Systems Inc.: Easy to use home exercise database

“Exercise, Fitness Assessment, Nutrition and Management software for Physical Therapists, Personal Trainers, Dietitians, Nutritionists and other professionals. Windows based software.”

Exercise Prescriber: Provide home exercises and information advice

“…an essential clinical tool for health professionals who routinely provide home exercises and information advice for their clients.”

Exercise Pro Live : Personalized Video and Printed Exercise Programs for Rehabilitation and Fitness

“…designed by physical therapists and other fitness professionals to provide video exercise programs with clear exercise instructions, proper exercise form and improved compliance and communication between health professionals and their clients.”

HEP2go.com: HEP for rehab pro’s

“For rehabilitation professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, etc. to create home exercise programs for patients and or clients.”

i-HEP.com: iHomeExerciseProgram

“Innovative Video + Web-based Platform = Better HEP Management & Better Patient Education

Mavenlive: Intelligent exercise prescription, customizable images, and documentation (free-trial available)

“Using Mavenlive will benefit you not only from a clinical standpoint, but it will help you improve relationships with your patients and your referral sources. Mavenlive clients tell us that physicians love getting professional correspondence. “

myclinicspace: High quality image and video exercises for patient rehabilitation

“myclinicspace is an online exercise prescription package for health professionals.”

MyPhysioRehab: A global community of therapists helping to speed your recovery (free-demo available)

“MyPhysioRehab allows you as a health professional to provide your patients with an injury profile and a rehabilitation programme to aid rapid recovery.”

PacPacs+: Online Rehabilitation Exercise and Client Management

“Manage your patient aftercare. Prescribe rehabilitation routines with multi-angle videos. Track consultation history and make notes for future sessions.”

Patient Care HEP: MedBridge

“Patient Care HEP is the fast, easy, comprehensive, and engaging home exercise program for rehabilitation professionals.”

Physiotec: Exercise and patient education database software

“Physiotec offers a health and fitness software with exercise programs for physiotherapy, rehabilitation and therapeutic exercises and distributes it across Canada, United-States (USA) and United-Kingdoms.”

PTX – PhysioTherapy eXercises: Create custom programs or choose ready made programs

“A free tool to create exercise programs for people with injuries and disabilities”

PhysioTools Software: Comprehensive and easy to use exercise software

“Exercise software for health and fitness professionals to print and email over 15,000 exercises for rehabilitation, physiotherapy, sports and education”

Physioview: Features professionally produced photographs, audio, video and text

“Physioview redefines the home exercise program from the fundamental to highly customized creation of rehabilitation exercise protocols. “

Physitrack: A mobile phone exclusively for practitioners

“Provides Physical Therapists with the ability to prescribe exercises, send messages to their patients”

The Rehab Lab: Online Exercise Prescription Software

“The Rehab Lab is an online exercise prescription software application that enables physiotherapists to create customised rehabilitation programmes for clients and patients.”

Simple Therapy: video exercise therapy that matches your needs, when and where you want it

“SimpleTherapy® offers more than 20 video-based exercise therapy programs designed by doctors.”

SimpleSet Pro: Advanced Exercise Prescription Software

“SimpleSet Pro is the ultimate online tool for professional exercise program design. With SimpleSet Pro you can create comprehensive exercise programs for your clients, and email or print them in minutes!”

SHAPES: Spatially and Human Aware Performance Evaluation System.

“SHAPES is an interactive, assistive technology (using the Microsoft Xbox Kinect) that enhances exercise routines.”

TheraVid: Connect. Discover. Recover.

“Use our expanding database of HD exercise videos and unique online interface to build better client relationships today. Free while in beta.”

WebExercises: Exercise Prescription Made Easy™

“WebExercises® will promote more frequent and proper form of all prescribed rehabilitation and corrective exercises – resulting in improved recovery and stronger happier patients and clients.”

wellpepper: gives your health a kick

“Wellpepper for iPad and iPhone enables healthcare professionals to prescribe physical therapy exercises and encourages people to complete exercises at home to help speed recovery”

Source: Exercise Prescription Software – Physical Therapy Web

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