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Here Are the 10 Best Physical Therapy Apps of 2019

These 11 smartphone apps will help you to simplify and streamline your responsibilities as a PT.

August 21, 2019

Hand selecting app on smartphone
Image via Hampson

The life of a physical therapist can be a whirlwind. There are client chart reviews, extensive evaluations, developing care plans, being a client's emotional rock, and the pesky client at-home plan adherence. And let's not forget what helps keep the practice going: Billing, billing, billing.

It may seem like a PT’s work is never done. Luckily, there are apps out there to help you get the work-life balance you crave while also allowing you to provide the kind of high-quality care your clients deserve. (And -- let's be honest -- prevent you from having a full-blown King’s-Landing-Daenerys-style meltdown.) We caught up with a few seasoned PTs to share what apps they use to help manage the chaos and keep their practices running like clockwork.

The Physical Therapy Experts

Here are the PTs who were kind enough to share their favorite apps with us:

The ‘Best Physical Therapy Apps’ Categories

For easy reading, we’ve divided their favorite apps into four work-related categories. Below, you'll find the best PT apps for:

  • Clinical References
  • Client Education & Treatment Adherence
  • Keeping Yourself Organized
  • Pediatric Care

Best Apps for Clinical References

1) Pocket Anatomy

  • Available for Download On: Apple App Store
  • Price: $19.99
  • Why You’ll Love It: Have you ever tried to explain something to a client when all you really need is a better visual? Rather than use the old reference posters hanging on your practice’s walls, pull out your iPhone and let Pocket Anatomy be your aide. This app creates a full 3-D experience of the human anatomy, allowing you to zoom in and navigate through all the bones, muscles, and systems in layers. You can also customize your experience by adding pins to interactive charts for each client. The best part about this app is that it’s designed to simplify the material in such a way that even your clients will be able to understand what they’re seeing. Our experts all agree that when it comes to anatomy references, this app's visuals and user-friendliness cannot be beat. “Never leave home without Pocket Anatomy in your pocket,” Dave says.

2) ICD10 Consult

  • Available for Download On: Apple App Store | Google Play
  • Price: Free
  • Why You’ll Love It: As most PTs know, billing can be a real challenge, especially for a new practice that’s just getting off the ground. Fortunately, the gods have blessed the PT world with this great app. In fact, Shah calls it “a billing guru.” This app is perfect for clarifying diagnosis codes and meanings, exactly the way you might search for them. It helps you find a perfect code for your client, decipher it with full explanations of that diagnosis, and learn if a code or condition is valid for reimbursement. It’s also flexible around the language you use in its search function - in other words, it recognizes clinical acronyms and synonyms, which leads to a way less frustrating search experience. Dave says this app was just what he needed to get his rehab center running. And Hawkins even suggests that you spring for the upgrade at $9.99 to avoid pesky pop-up ads.

3) Physera

  • Available for Download On: Apple App Store | Google Play
  • Price: Free
  • Why You'll Love It: Created by PTs for PTs, this app was designed to make it way easier for you to develop new care plans to help your clients build strength and flexibility. Gone are the days of in-depth Google searches and mulling through textbook after textbook - Physera has more than 100 exercises and descriptions that can save you essential time that you can then devote to more 1-on-1 meetings with clients. (Or maybe even to taking a full lunch for once?) But don’t just take our word for it: this app comes highly rated by our entire panel of experts. Shah, specifically, loves the app’s free exercise library - she says it helps her get creative with custom workouts for her clients.


Best Apps for Client Education and Treatment Adherence

4) PT Pal Pro

  • Available for Download On: Apple App Store | Google Play
  • Price: Free
  • Why You’ll Love It: Ever wonder how you can get your clients to stay on schedule with their treatment plans while they’re at home? This cloud-based platform makes it easier for PTs to communicate with their clients and provide them with the information they need to meet their goals. With this app, you can send exercises, treatment plans, and reminders to your clients’ mobile devices. PT Pal also makes it easier for you to track your clients’ progress to help them improve their outcomes. Dave says that this app’s made it easier for his clients to adhere to their treatment plans while they’re at home, and has even changed the tone of his conversations with them during sessions. “Now, instead of asking, ‘What has happened since our last visit?’ the app shows it all,” he says. “We can go straight into what has been working and what we need to improve on.”

5) Pain Therapy: Exercise Videos

  • Available for Download On: Apple App Store
  • Price: $2.99
  • Why You’ll Love It: Do you have clients who have different learning styles, speak different languages, or have some kind of hearing impairment? If so, this app might just become your best friend. In fact, this app was rated No. 1 by our experts for accessibility. The app contains a library of exercise and stretching videos, all performed by a physical therapist. Favorite videos can be downloaded and stored on your device and shared with your clients. This app also has transcribed videos for people with hearing disabilities, and is available in a number of languages. The experts unanimously agreed that it’s the perfect tool for working with clients who are visual learners and need constant guidance with their home exercises.


Best Apps for Keeping Yourself Organized

6) WeekCal

  • Available for Download On: Apple App Store
  • Price: Free
  • Why You’ll Love It: Need a scheduler that works across platforms? This calendar app gathers your appointments across Google, Exchange, iCloud, Outlook, and more to combine everything in one place and keep your day moving. Working in both home and clinic settings, Hawkins says he chooses this app over his phone’s built-in feature to help keep track of his various schedules.

7) Stopwatch and Timer

  • Available for Download On: Google Play
  • Price: Free
  • Why You’ll Love It: Stopwatch and Timer is a really simple app that allows PTs to use five stopwatches at a time. It's really useful for training and time management when working with numerous clients. Our experts say there’s no confusion about how to manage the five timers, and it serves as a great assistant during particularly busy days at the practice.


Best Apps for Pediatric Care

8) Physical Therapy for Kids

  • Available for Download On: Apple App Store
  • Price: $6.99
  • Why You’ll Love It: PTs who work with children know the challenges of getting a child to cooperate and stay focused through an entire therapy session. As a pediatric PT, Shah says this app is a must-have for any physical therapist trying to get elementary- and middle school-aged children more engaged with their treatment. Lovingly created by a PT, it includes 56 exercises that are specifically developed for children ages 3 to 12. The exercises are presented via hand-drawn illustrations and animations with accompanying narration and text. Thanks to this app, Shah says that she has seen better results with her clients’ at-home treatment adherence. According to the parents, this is due in large part to the fact that their kids are excited to watch the app’s videos at home.

9) Therapy Gaming

  • Available for Download On: Google Play

  • Price: Free

  • Why You’ll Love It: Have your teenaged clients ever hit you with the “This is boring” mantra? Our experts say that there's an app for that. (Yup, there’s even gaming for physical therapy.) The Therapy Gaming app was researched and designed by PTs who understand the value that so-called “exergaming” platforms like the Wii Fit or Xbox can have on people’s health and wellness. This is particularly true for young physical therapy clients who need some extra incentive in order to stick to their care plans. With this app, you can turn their regular exercises into fun, engaging activities like dancing, skateboarding, or tightroping.

    Here’s how it works: The Therapy Gaming app provides analyses of the task requirements of over 30 commercially available games and gives you quick access to the information you need in order to find the right game for your client’s area of focus and level of agility. All you need to do is pick the adventure and the difficulty level, and your client does the rest. That’s right: You get them to do their exercises, they have fun doing them. That’s a big ol’ win-win in our book. “It's actually pretty revolutionary,” Dave says. “We have now incorporated this into our practice and the results are amazing.” It’s great for adult gamers, too!

10) Jump Jump Froggy

  • Available for Download On: Apple App Store
  • Price: Free
  • Why You’ll Love It: Like Therapy Gaming, this app uses a preschooler’s love of games to encourage participation in physical activity, no game console needed. Shah says this app is one of the most requested activities by her younger clients. It features four fun activities that all focus on different mobility areas: jump up, 30-second speed hopping challenge, sit-ups, and push-ups.“When they jump, the frog jumps,” Shah says. “It’s really cute and effective.”To track improvement, kids can play to beat their high score. For at-home adherence, there’s multiplayer mode, so kids can compete with their friends and family.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Berxi™ or Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. This article (subject to change without notice) is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute professional advice.

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