Artificial Intelligence to help physiotherapy patients

Last Updated on August 8, 2021 by I C

Provide’s Physiotherapy Service is working with the organisation’s Technology Team to explore how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help deliver better outcomes for its service users.

A recent report by think tank Reform found that AI can analyse data collected on wearable technology, such as fitness trackers, and help clinicians support changes in patients’ behaviour.

Exercise is essential for physiotherapy treatment to be successful and the ability to track and monitor a patient’s physical activity and frequency of exercise would be highly beneficial for the service.

Alex Kraszewski, a team lead physiotherapist for Provide’s Physiotherapy Service, said:

“A major focus on the delivery of our Physiotherapy service with Provide relates to educating our patients on how to self-manage their pain or condition.”

“Often, patients are unaware of how much or little physical activity they are doing, and using wearable technology will help us monitor, increase or decrease this activity, and ultimately improve treatment outcomes.”

Digital technology can help the NHS become more efficient and deliver better outcomes for patients and Provide will be looking at ways AI could help to address this in the future by automating tasks, triaging patients to the most appropriate services and allowing people to self-care.

Service users will give consent and be invited to use technological devices that can help them to get the best outcomes.

Chris Wright, Head of IT and Data at Provide, said:

“The Technology Team at Provide are very excited about the benefits that AI can bring to our services and service users.”

“We are working with a range of industry-leading partners to analyse where AI will bring the most benefit and to develop easy to use products and solutions that will make a real difference to care”.

Over the next few months, the Physiotherapy Service will be collaborating with a digital strategy group to look at new models for digital healthcare.

The service is committed to embracing innovation and technology to improve patient care and experience.


Physiotherapists now certified to support people with Musculoskeletal conditions return to work

Last Updated on August 8, 2021 by I C

The government has recently announced plans to get one million more disabled people in work over the next ten years.

The new plan includes extending ‘fit note’ certification beyond GPs to a wider group of healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists, psychiatrists and senior nurses.

These new measures will permit Provide’s Physiotherapy Service to sign ‘fit notes’ to support people on long-term sick leave to return to work.

More than 20 per cent of absences from work are due to Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions such as back pain and arthritis.

People with these disorders often find it difficult to return back to work due to a lack of support from employers as well as delays in accessing the appropriate healthcare services.

Luke Tandy, an Extended Scope Physiotherapist for Provide’s Physiotherapy Service, said:

“The proposal to allow physiotherapists to issue fit notes is excellent news for patients with Musculoskeletal problems, which is one of the most common reasons for sickness absence in the UK.”

“Our service plays an important part of people’s rehabilitation for physical health problems and we recognise the pivotal role of facilitating someone’s ability to return to work if they are off sick due to their Musculoskeletal condition.”

“The use of fit notes by the Physiotherapy Service in the near future will certainly help to support people not only returning to work but also remaining at work which is in the interest of their long term health and wellbeing.”

The government hopes the changes to the fit note system will improve the identification of health conditions and treatments to help workers get back to work quickly.

Provide’s Physiotherapy Service can help people with Musculoskeletal conditions successfully get back to work as quickly as possible by providing detailed expert advice on how workplaces can support employees returning after a period of absence. 

The future introduction of more first-contact physiotherapy practitioners working in GP surgeries over the coming years, both nationally and in mid Essex, will allow even wider use of fit notes by the profession resulting in fewer unnecessary appointments for patients and faster access to the care they need.

The government’s policy paper, ‘Improving lives: the future of work, health and disability’, outlines a 10 year plan to improve employment prospects for people with long term health conditions including a specific focus on Musculoskeletal conditions.

More information can be found on the Gov website.

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