Rehabilitation Apps for Patients

By Margaret Schmidt

In this final post in our series on mobile applications in therapy, we are highlighting apps for patients’ personal use that meet various needs during and after rehabilitation.

A recent study from Australia's Royal Rehabilitation Centre found that mobile app users had fewer memory failures. The researchers raised another excellent point: With such high usage of mobile devices, therapy patients do not feel different from anyone else when they use them. Whether your patient needs help with remembering, communicating or exercising at home, there is indeed an app for that.

For patients:

  • FORCE Mobile: Patients can access hundreds of professionally produced videos of physical therapy exercises with instructional voice over. Users may save their favorite videos in a playlist. Advance for PT & Rehab reviewer Lisa Mueller, DPT, said the image quality is clear and that the exercises are well performed. Watch six videos for free. Available for $4.99/month on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
  • Readability for iPad: Readability enables users to read online articles in a clean, uncluttered visual space free of ads and other links. Within the app’s browser, one may choose to read an article immediately or save it to a reading list for later.Available for free on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
  • Dragon Dictation: – This popular app converts speech to text and can be useful if a patient can speak but not write. Available for free on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
  • My Pain Diary: My Pain Diary was developed by a chronic pain patient to allow users to track their symptoms. Patients may describe the pain by intensity, location, time and trigger. Local weather at the time of each instance is even recorded. In addition, users can generate reports and choose which pain factors to include. Reports may be emailed, and data collected can help therapists determine a treatment plan. Available for $9.99 on the iPad.
  • MyFitnessPal: This calorie counting app has received five stars from thousands of users in the App Store. The user sets a calorie goal and then enters daily food intake and exercise. The app breaks down nutritional content by protein, carbohydrates, sugar and more. With an enormous food database of more than a million items, MyFitnessPal is ideal for monitoring one’s diet. Available for free on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Thanks for following our series on therapy apps. We hope you’ve found our recommendations to be useful. We will keep you updated on great new apps going forward as RehabCare discovers them!