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The 15 Best Physical Therapy Apps of 2020

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The life of a physical therapist can be a whirlwind. There are patient charts to review, extensive evaluations to perform, care plans to develop, and continuing education credits to earn. 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 patients deserve. (And — let's be honest — prevent you from having a full-blown King’s-Landing-Daenerys-style meltdown.) We checked top-ranking apps and 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 some of their favorite apps with us:

The ‘Best Physical Therapy Apps’ Categories

For easy reading, we’ve divided the best PT apps into five categories. Below, you'll find the best PT apps for:

  1. Clinical References
  2. Patient Education & Treatment Adherence
  3. Keeping Yourself Organized
  4. Pediatric Care
  5. Studying & Continuing Education

Best Apps for Clinical References

1) Pocket Anatomy

  • Available for Download On: Apple Store
  • Price: Free
  • Why You’ll Love It: Have you ever tried to explain something to a patient 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 3D 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 patient. The best part about this app is that it’s designed to simplify the material in such a way that even your patients 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 Store | Google Play
  • Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
  • 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 patient, decipher it with full explanations of that diagnosis, and learn if a code or condition is valid for reimbursement. Its search function is really flexible and recognizes clinical acronyms and synonyms, which makes the search experience far less frustrating. 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 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 patients 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 devote to having more one-on-one meetings with patients. (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 patients.

4) Goniometer

  • Available for Download On: Apple Store
  • Price: $4.99
  • Why You’ll Love It: This top-ranking app is a basic, easy-to-use digital goniometer that can help you determine your patients’ range of motion. The tool includes a visual reference that shows you how to use the app to measure the angles for the joint in question. Simply place the device on the patient to determine starting angle and hit ‘Stop’ once the patient has extended as far as they can go. And voilà! Virtual goniometer.

Best Apps for Patient Education & Treatment Adherence

5) PT Pal Pro

  • Available for Download On: Apple Store | Google Play
  • Price: Free
  • Why You’ll Love It: Have you ever wondered how you can get your patients to stay on schedule with their treatment plans while they’re at home? Well, wonder no more - that’s where PT Pal Pro comes in. This cloud-based platform makes it easier for PTs to communicate with their patients 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 patients’ mobile devices, and even track their progress over time. Dave says this app has made it easier for his patients to adhere to their treatment plans 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.”

6) Pain Therapy: Exercise Videos

  • Available for Download On: Apple Store
  • Price: $2.99 (+ in-app purchases)
  • Why You’ll Love It: Do you have patients 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 of which are performed by PTs. Favorite videos can be downloaded and stored on your device, or even shared with your patients. 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 patients who are visual learners and need constant guidance with their home exercises.

Best Apps for Keeping Yourself Organized

7) WeekCalendar

  • Available for Download On: Apple Store
  • Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
  • 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 clinical settings, Hawkins says he prefers this app over his phone’s built-in feature because it makes it much easier to keep track of his various schedules.

8) 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. This makes it really useful for training and time management when working with numerous patients. Our experts say that there’s no confusion about how to manage the timers, and it serves as a great assistant during particularly busy days at the practice.

9) Pt-vity

  • Available for Download On: Apple Store
  • Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
  • Why You’ll Love It: This 4.2-star-rated app is specifically designed to help PTs track their productivity and manage their time more effectively. You can track the amount of time you spend at work by clocking in and out via the app, and it also makes it easy to adjust your schedule throughout the day if anything changes. You can even set notifications to remind you when to clock out for lunch, or for the day. The basic version of this app is free, but you can upgrade to a paid version to get access to more metrics on the total amount of time you worked for a given week or month. The paid version also allows users to sync and back up their data to the iCloud.

Best Apps for Pediatric Care

10) Physical Therapy for Kids

  • Available for Download On: Apple Store
  • Price: $6.99
  • Why You’ll Love It: PTs who work with children know the challenges of getting a young patient to cooperate and stay focused throughout an entire session. As a pediatric specialist, Shah says that this app is a must-have for any practitioners who try to get elementary- and middle school-aged children more engaged with their treatments. Lovingly created by a PT, the app includes 56 exercises that are specifically developed for children aged 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’s seen better results with her patients’ at-home treatment adherence. And, according to the parents, this is due in large part to the fact that their kids are excited to watch the app’s videos and animations.

11) Therapy Gaming

  • Available for Download On: Google Play
  • Price: Free
  • Why You’ll Love It: Have your teenage patients 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 impact that “exergaming” platforms like Wii Fit or Xbox can have on people’s health and wellness. This is particularly true for young physical therapy patients 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, such as dancing, skateboarding, or tightrope-walking. The 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 patient’s area of focus and level of agility. All you need to do is pick the adventure and the difficulty level, and your patient does the rest. That’s right: You get them to do their exercises, and 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!

12) Jump Jump Froggy

  • Available for Download On: Apple 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 console needed. Shah says that this app is one of the most requested activities by her younger patients. 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 improvements, kids can play to beat their high score. To increase at-home adherence, there’s a multiplayer mode kids can select so they can compete with their friends and family.

Best Apps for Studying & Continuing Education

13) NPTE-PT Pocket Prep

  • Available for Download On: Apple Store | Google Play
  • Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
  • Why You’ll Love It: This 4.7-star-rated app is perfect for PTs who are studying for the National Physical Therapy Exam, as well as for experienced practitioners who are looking to keep their knowledge fresh. The free version has dozens of practice questions that let the user get a feel for the app so they can determine if they’d like to upgrade to the paid version. Users can even create customized exams to test themselves on the topics they need the most help with. There’s even a Question of the Day notification, which is great for quick refreshers for busy PTs.

14) PT365

  • Available for Download On: Apple Store | Google Play
  • Price: Free
  • Why You’ll Love It: This app is perfect for PT students and working practitioners alike who want an easy way to assess their current knowledge base and continue learning. Every day, you’ll get a push notification with a multiple choice question for you to answer, along with explanations for both the correct and incorrect answer choices. Over 2.5 thousand reviewers gave this app a 4.9-star rating because it also lets you see how other users answered the same questions, track your progress over time, and review any previously answered questions that you had trouble with.

15) PT Content Master

  • Available for Download On: Apple Store | Google Play
  • Price: $29.99
  • Why You’ll Love It: This 4.8-star-rated app was designed for a range of experience levels, from current students to seasoned PT pros. Content is split into categories like “The Musculoskeletal System,” “Equipment & Devices,” and “Safety & Protection.” Once you download the app, you can identify your level of competency in each category to create personalized “Study Stacks.” These customizable modules will help you review the specific material you feel you need to work on. There’s also an “assessment” mode that tests your knowledge with 750 questions, and provides explanations for each answer set. You can even tag questions you get wrong or want to review once you complete the assessment.

Originally published on August 21, 2019.
Updated by Lauren Garcia on April 16, 2020

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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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