P T & P
bridging the gap between doctor and patient
One of the things physical therapy patients often struggle with is their at-home exercises. Regardless of whether it’s due to lack of knowledge or forgetfulness, not keeping to assigned exercises can significantly prolong healing time and potentially stunt the healing process altogether. Our aim as an app is to help nudge patients into their exercises for faster recovery times with better results, and help bridge the communication gap between when a patient performs an exercise and when they see their physical therapist (PT) at appointments.
This is an example of the workflow a patient would have on an average day.
to do list
PT&P incorporates a to-do list feature which allows patients to view their progress until the next appointment. This feature displays all current exercises in the form of info-cards that contains pertinent information to their assigned exercises: exercise details, notes from the doctor in regards to this specific exercise, and current progress. From these info-cards, patients can access and start the guided, follow-along exercises.
follow along exercises
To aid users in properly completing their workout, every exercise within the database is accompanied with voice guidance and a video trainer. This ensures that patients will have proper form and sufficient understanding.
In our research, we found that when patients experience some form of discomfort during or after an exercise they often forget to inform their PT of the issue. To mitigate this, patients are encouraged to express their thoughts and any concerns they might have had in the form of comments. These comments will be visible by their PT and inform them of any troubles.
This is an example of the workflow that the PT would take on an average patient visit.
patient contact list
Adhering to traditional practices, patient information is retrieved from the sign-in process and automatically collected into a patient file. At a glance, the PT will be able to view their list of patients and each patient’s overall progress through their current program and sort by active or inactive patients. Inactive patients are those that aren’t currently seeing the PT, either due to needing extra sessions or moving PTs.
integrated exercise databse
For ease of use, our app fetches data from existing databases such as Physiotec, British Columbia Kinesiology Association and British Columbia Physiotherapy Association.
PTs can browse through a plethora of exercises or search precisely based on modifiers. In accordance with existing practices, PTs can assign exercises in a familiar way and add notes for the patient as necessary.
The most challenging decision we encountered was at the beginning of our project. As a group, we had to choose a domain for our app and within it we derived three contexts: humanitarian, travel and fitness. After further developing each idea, we initially settled on tourism as it had more variety.
We started initially by creating an idea map of some domains that we had interest in including Healthcare, Communication, Education, Organization, Travel, Food, and Humanitarian. Once we had these domains down, we started ideating different interfaces that would help in one or more of those areas. Some of our favorite ideas we had focused on Travel, so we decided to use that as a domain.
Our initial ideas did not inspire our team as we hoped they would; they felt lacking in importance and function. From there, we gravitated towards self-care and focused on trying to help doctors and patients open the lines of communication. We wanted to start fairly small so we focused on one thing: patients in physical rehabilitation. Through examining the interactions most patients have with kinesiologists we found a stumbling block that most patients falter on, keeping up with exercises and communicating openly with their PT. This seed idea lead to a flurry of features and ideas for our interface. We struggled to produce a single, high-fidelity workflow that incorporated all our ideas. After meeting with industry professionals, we were advised to narrow down our focus. Taking that to heart, we condensed our ideas into what is now the nucleus and backbone to our app.
A big issue we had with this development cycle was feature creep. As soon as we started coming up with flows for how the patients and PTs would use the application, we started adding more and more features to assist the flows. While we started trimming towards the end, the initial onset of features left us overextended. The main thing we wanted to focus on before running out of time was the PT interface, and in particular moving it from a mobile interface to a desktop interface as this is what PTs would likely be using most of the time they’re on the application.
meet the team
Having a fun and unique project was the main focus in the two months we had together. We wanted to develop a product that could be used and incorporated into society. The process yielded us greater knowledge in the domain of Physical Therapy, and we are proud that our final product successfully encapsulates these values.
SAP UX Department (Critique) • Debbie Wong (Kinesiologist) • Paul Brokenshire (Professor) • Narges Ashtari (Teaching Assistant)