Computer-Equipped Brace Allows Patients, Doctors to Monitor At-Home Physical Therapy
Houston orthopedic specialists have tested braces "equipped with computer components" that offer feedback for patients and doctors about at-home physical therapy programs, the Houston Chronicle reports. The system, called the Donjoy Vista Rehab Management System, includes the brace, software with 28 exercises and a printable program report. The system also includes a "hand-held device with a screen that hooks into the brace and provides immediate feedback to the patient" about the strength of the affected area (Lake, Houston Chronicle, 9/17). Vista, Calif.-based
dj Orthopedics manufactures the system (www.donjoy.com). Dr. William Bryan, clinical professor of orthopedic surgery for Baylor College of Medicine and a staff physician at Methodist Hospital, who has used the system on a trial basis over the past year, said, "The computer lets us program it to tell the patient what to do through a hand-held device and when they come back to the office, we can download it to see if they've done it correctly." He added that the system increases patient compliance with therapy programs and can alert a physician when a patient should receive pain medication in addition to exercise. Bryan said that the system costs $900, and some insurers will cover the cost (Houston Chronicle, 9/17).