According to the Colorado startup BaziFIT, 15 million patients receive physical therapy each year in this country. 90% of this treatment is done by the patient without supervision, and compliance is a major problem. Some patients don’t do the exercises correctly, and some don’t do them at all. As many as 60% of patients are non-compliant with their rehab programs. And patients are prone to re-injuring their body; 30% of patients who get ACL surgery end up re-injuring their knees.
BaziFIT is working on a solution to this problem. They have developed BaziBAN, a compression shirt with sensors built in and a wireless transceiver that can communicate with a smartphone. An app on the smartphone provides instructions to the patient, which can help increase engagement. It also receives and records data from the exercise sessions that can then be reviewed by physical therapists and physicians. If a patient is not performing the exercises correctly — or not at all — the healthcare professionals can intervene and provide support to help bring them into compliance.
The system may also be able to save money and increase productivity. As many as 20% of patients fail to show for scheduled treatment sessions; the data from the system could help physical therapists know if a patient is not likely to show up for an appointment, and can give the appointment time to another patient instead. The result should be lower operating costs as well as improved outcomes for the patients.