Digital and advancing technology

The Falls Assistant tool

In 2011 in Scotland, approximately 8% of older people who fell received multifactorial assessment (MFA) and intervention delivered by NHS services. Our aim is to reach 20% by implementing the Falls Framework for Action for Scotland. Tests of opportunistic screening have demonstrated low uptake of MFA; many people don't want - or need - formal intervention from NHS services. A growing number of people over 60 use the internet (59%) with Scotland increasingly investing in technology solutions to improve health and well being. NHS 24's Smartcare Programme, provided the opportunity to explore the use technology to support self-management of falls risk. Our aim was to develop an online self management tool to enable users to assess falls risk and create a personalised falls prevention plan.

Web-based and smartphone based exercise prescription program

  • Evaluate the quality and adherence of patients with MSK conditions to agreed exercise programmes when using a digital platform compared to a printed version.
  • Evaluate the patient´s experience when engaging with an exercise programme and their interaction with clinicians and any differences related to patient characteristics (age, gender).
  • Evaluate the impact on generic patient reported outcome measures (PROMS) (eg PSFS, EQ5D, MSKHQ)

Transnational collaborative digital learning project

Physiotherapy programmes must prepare graduates to live and work in a globally interconnected society. Internationalised learning experiences have the potential to break down ethnocentric worldviews by exposing students to analysis and critique of practice from different cultural perspectives. Such experiences may enable transformative learning by developing the student's ability to shift perspective and reflect critically on how disciplinary practice can change with the social context. Opportunities to study abroad can only be offered to a minority of students. In contrast, digital technology such as discussion forums and video conferencing provide an inclusive platform to make international experiences available to all students on a programme. The aim of this educational project was to engage physiotherapy students in a transnational collaborative group task in order to increase awareness of different international perspectives on clinical practice and healthcare provision and facilitate reflection on their local context.

Physiotherapy use of thoracic ultrasound

The use of diagnostic thoracic ultrasound (TUS) by physiotherapists to examine the pleura, lung parenchyma and diaphragm is gaining in popularity. In the medical profession it has been shown to have efficacy in the diagnosis of pulmonary conditions such as pneumonia, pleural effusions and diaphragm dysfunction. It is unclear how effective TUS is in the hands of a physiotherapist. The aim of this scoping review is to explore the emerging evidence surrounding physiotherapy use of TUS to inform research and clinical practice.  

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