Physical Therapy PT

New Tools & Techniques

DPT graduate helped produce andriod apps that help measure and track physical therapy progressAfter more than a decade as a clinical instructor and advisor at the University of Toronto, Dr. Nirtal Shah ’05, a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) graduate, started to get antsy. “I wanted to be involved with health on more than an individual level,” he says. He was also frustrated with his patients’ inability to access the care they needed. Last year, he addressed both issues by co-creating two free apps for Android phones:

myAnkle allows clinicians and patients to measure standing balance and track progress over time.
is designed to measure how far a knee bends to determine the joint’s range of motion post-surgery.

Both apps help patients see and measure their improvement, which helps with compliance. “This previously wasn’t possible without the presence of a health care provider,” Shah adds.

In addition to empowering patients, the apps benefit Shah as a practitioner. Since he doesn’t have access to motion capture devices and accelerometers where he works, he uses the apps every day.

What’s next? He’d love to collaborate with students, alumni, and faculty to conduct research that examines new patient populations. “I welcome the opportunity to work with clinicians whose patients have neurological impairments,” he suggests, “where balance is a huge issue.” Contact him at [email protected].

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