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It’s the oldest problem in healthcare — patients aren’t great at following at-home care plans. Whether it’s a pamphlet or instructions from their physical therapist, it’s hard to get compliance once patients have left the appointment. 

This got our team at PeerWell thinking: Could there be a better way to fill the feedback gap that exists between patient and therapist between visits? 

We started by considering the challenges faced by physical therapists during musculoskeletal care. The question we posed was, ‘what concerns do you have once a patient leaves the appointment?’. We learned that common concerns were: exercise compliance (doing exercises as often prescribed), and doing exercises with proper form. For patients, both poor form and poor compliance translate into worse outcomes. 

A solution to this problem

What if we could come up with a way to use real-time feedback and tech as a motivator for patients and a tool for improving outcomes? If we could get patients to follow their at-home care plan better — one of the only proven ways to improve musculoskeletal issues — we’d help people achieve faster recoveries. 

To make our vision a reality, we’ve spent the last year working with clinicians and AI engineers.

Today, we’re proud to announce the launch of the NEW SMART Motion™ Coach!

  • Guidance: The Coach acts almost like a real coach—guiding patients through better, safer movement. 
  • Exercise compliance and data capture: Built into the PeerWell app, the Coach helps patients perform exercises correctly, tracks range of motion (with the accuracy of a trained physical therapist), and captures key metrics around progress. 
  • No extras needed: Most importantly, everything a patient needs to exercise with the audio and visual guidance of PeerWell’s Coach is found within their phone, tablet or laptop. This patented computer-vision enabled technology requires no clunky straps, smart mirrors or add-ons.  

Why create the SMART Motion™ Coach, now?

One of the most well-supported treatments for musculoskeletal issues, physical therapy is an essential part of recovery.

Beyond in-person appointments, at-home exercise plans and whole person care are recognized as key to a fast and full recovery. While critical for the patient, at-home exercise plans tend to be dull and forgettable. 

The Coach takes the engaging video exercise content and SMART Motionsuite of technologies already found inside the PeerWell app and jumps forward into the future.

Through the Coach, each patient’s actual exercise movement is captured and guided for conformance. Tracking the patient’s body motion and encouraging them along the way, the Coach helps patients stick with their daily activities. It also provides key metrics like range of motion and exercise completion for physical therapists and providers.

PeerWell’s AI technology — combined with ground-breaking computer vision tech — enables us to offer exercise programming that more closely matches the in-person physical therapy experience. The added benefit: you can do it from anywhere! 

How does the Coach work? (Let’s talk details!)

With the Coach, patients simply open the PeerWell app and get themselves into frame. Each guided exercise is explained with a follow-along video. The Coach then offers real-time feedback if an exercise or pose isn’t done correctly (just like—you guessed it—a real coach would!).

Features:

  • No expensive equipment, membership fees, or hardware add-ons. 
  • PeerWell’s Coach is built right into the app and accessible with any smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
  • Voice guidance for instructions and real time feedback on the quality of the activity.
  • Progress tracking over time to capture improvement.
  • Recording and assessing patient exercise compliance.

Engaging experiences for patients, valuable data for providers

With PeerWell’s Coach, patients get real-time feedback and are motivated by progress on a daily basis. Patients are confident that they’re doing their exercises correctly (and safely), and no longer have to track and count. Beyond this, physical therapists and the rest of the patient’s care team have the ability to adjust exercise programs, monitor movement (like range of motion), better understand compliance, and verify remotely how well each patient is doing.

An innovative use of current tech, we’re excited to see where the Coach will take us — both as a company and as an industry. 

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