Stroke rehabilitation researchers have developed ViaTherapy, an app that aims to assist occupational therapists and physiotherapists in their decision-making regarding treatment for patients with arm impairments due to stroke.

During a 5-year process, researchers co-led by Drs Mark Bayley—medical director, Brain and Spinal Cord Rehab Program, Toronto Rehab—and Steven Wolf, from Emory University, developed the app, which translates the Stroke Rehabilitation Guidelines into a decision-making algorithm.

“The right treatment for a patient today may not be the right treatment for them in 3 weeks,” Bayley says, in a media release from University Health Network. “We tried to capture how a clinician should also evolve therapy to involve new treatments depending on how far along the patient is in their recovery.”

ViaTherapy’s algorithm considers information submitted by a clinician and offers a list of suggestions regarding which rehabilitation exercises would be best to promote progress within the patient.

The app is available only for stroke patients with upper extremity movement loss. However, Bayley hopes to one day expand it to other areas of rehabilitation medicine.

“This type of application has the potential to support clinicians who work with patients with Multiple Sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and many other conditions that limit movement,” he says. “In order to give the patient the best treatment available, this is how rehabilitation medicine should present its guidelines.”

ViaTherapy is available for free in Apples App Store and Google Play for Android.

[Source(s): University Health Network, Newswise]