As Maggie and I head to Physiotherapy Congress next week in Victoria, it’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since we first exhibited for healthSwapp at congress in Halifax. At our exhibition desk last year, we asked practitioners to tell us how they prescribe exercises to patients, and unsurprisingly the majority still used paper handouts but were interested in more interactive and digitized ways to communicate exercises and education to their patients. So, with our suspicions confirmed, we set out with the goal of making healthSwapp the easiest and most efficient way for practitioners to prescribe clear instructions to patients using mobile video technology, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.
Looking back, a lot has changed in a year. Although we know there are still practitioners out there using paper handouts, we have had many practitioners take the technological leap of faith with us towards more efficient ways to communicate with our patients. The process however, has been very much a two way street and we could not have done it without the motivation, support and collaboration with our early adopters.
One practitioner in particular is Rochenda Howard of BET PhysioPilates in Bloor West Village. Rochenda works exclusively in Pilates based rehabilitation and had been looking for years - at her patient’s requests - for a way to go “higher tech” with her home exercise handouts. She had been unable to find resources or time to do any such project herself. We began speaking with Rochenda in August, 2015, looking at what her particular needs were and how we could best accommodate her on healthSwapp. What Rochenda mainly lacked was a platform to upload her Pilates protocols, which consisted of step by step images and some text.
Pilates exercises and movements, as you may know, are very precise, technical and loaded with instructions and cues that can be all be lost in a static image. With this in mind, we suggested that Rochenda convert all of her material into video format as a way to improve the instructional aspect of her content. This also benefited healthSwapp, as we were looking to include Pilates content into our growing exercise library. Rochenda also teaches Pilates courses, so having her protocols in video format also benefits other practitioners who have taken her courses, and those who are interested in Pilates in general.
Our first steps were to have Rochenda share stage one of her protocols with us so we could do a trial filming session. A date was set, and Elie and I went out to Rochenda’s clinic for an afternoon of filming. Rochenda decided it would be best if she narrated her own videos, and I acted as her model. The whole process only took 2 hours and Elie and I left that day with all of the first stage of Rochenda’s protocols filmed and “almost” ready to go.
In addition to filming exercises, we also wanted to give Rochenda the opportunity to brand her material with her clinic logo and information. This would give Rochenda an easy way to market her expertise and clinic in an online space that both practitioners and patients shared. Since Rochenda chose to leave her material open and accessible to the healthSwapp community, other practitioners have liked, used and shown interest in her content. As Rochenda was one of our first practitioners using healthSwapp, we had the time (and needed the practice!) of incorporating her logo and clinic information in the intro and outro to brand her videos. After trialling healthSwapp for a few months, Rochenda was able to give us a great deal of user experience feedback and we have been working with her ever since to improve the features and navigational aspects of the platform. Rochenda gives her patients the option to either receive the traditional paper handouts, or receive their program via the healthSwapp app. Her patients who have opted for healthSwapp have been very happy with a digital reminder to complete their exercises on their phones and tablets, as well as the clear instructions on how to properly complete a Pilates exercise and track their progress. With the successful outcome of her trial with healthSwapp, Rochenda decided to go ahead and film and upload stage two protocols with us. They are now up and active on the healthSwapp platform, ready for her patients to receive and for the healthSwapp community to use, learn and share.
Our progress and development as a digitized exercise prescription platform would not be where it is today without our early supporters like Rochenda, who was willing to do a free trial with us. It has been a collaborative relationship of mutual growth and assistance that allowed us to fine tune and troubleshoot our product, and has given Rochenda a platform to effectively prescribe exercises to her patients and improve patient outcomes. As we continue to grow and develop our platform, we hope to meet more like minded practitioners who are interested in developing a collaborative relationship with us that creates solutions for their patients, and solutions that help build your practice. We will be exhibiting again this year at Congress (booth #36), and would be happy to provide a demo of the healthSwapp platform and discuss any specific needs you may have. Alternatively, if you can’t make it congress, feel free to explore our platform here. Registered Physiotherapist Business Development Manager at healthSwapp @healthSwapp