News Feature | December 5, 2016

Virtual Physical Therapy Helps Revolutionize Home Health Care

Christine Kern

By Christine Kerncontributing writer

Home Health Care

Reflexion Health introduces VERA to empower patients and improve outcomes.

The explosion of innovation in technology is fundamentally transforming the way healthcare is administered and managed around the world. From diagnosis to treatment and chronic condition management, telehealth has become a reality. And in the wake of an ever-changing healthcare landscape, meaningful care is on the rise. There is also increasing pressure to address excessive healthcare spending and inefficient care pathways to reduce costs and improve outcomes.

One of the newest fields to be handled via innovative technology is physical therapy. Last year, a pilot program was created by researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas to connect wounded veterans with physical therapy via real-time video, 3D computer-generated worlds, and force-feedback “haptic” devices that could recreate a physical therapist session between patients and therapists remotely over high-speed networks, as Live Science reported.

Now, Reflexion Health, a digital healthcare company dedicated to transforming traditional medicine, has developed VERA™, a virtual exercise rehabilitation assistant that remotely brings physical therapy to the home, empowering patients and providers to save time, steps, and money.

According to Reflexion Health, “VERA™ is a digital medicine platform that includes a suite of prescription rehabilitation exercises, an animated avatar coach, a 3D imaging system for measuring movement and form, functional assessments, an intuitive dashboard for off-line clinical review, automatic report generation, and telemedicine capability. In early use, VERA™ increases patient engagement, improves adherence to prescribed exercises, delights patients, all while increasing the reach of physical therapists into the home while saving steps, time, and money.”

The VERA system won FDA clearance for use last October, and it uses the Kinect motion tracking system to provide interactive feedback and educational information to patients during a virtual physical therapy session. The system is able to provide coaching, performance monitoring, and progress tracking by physical therapists and physicians throughout the session as well.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS  implemented a new reimbursement model for Medicare patients undergoing total hip or knee replacement surgeries, allowing hospitals to bundle costs of providing care that combines pre-operative care with the surgery, post-operative care, and outpatient physical therapy. According to Joe Smith, CEO of Reflexion Health, this new reimbursement model “incentivizes providers to work through all those transitions of care, including physical therapy and surgery.”