Microsoft’s Kinect Is Revolutionizing Physical Therapy

Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows isn’t just for practicing those dance moves or playing virtual sports anymore. Researchers at Reflexion Health are using the Kinect to change the way patients recover during Physical Therapy.

The system they used is called Vera, and it has recently received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration after being tested at five separate medical centers.

Microsoft’s Kinect Is Revolutionizing Physical Therapy

How Does Vera Work?

Vera takes advantage of the sophisticated sensors working inside the Kinect. The Kinect sensor uses depth sensing and body tracking to capture a patient’s exercise movements in precise detail. In real time, the system will provide a model on how to perform the exercise correctly and then offer feedback on each prescribed exercise. Gone are the days of looking down at a piece of paper and attempting to understand a model drawing of a particular exercise. Vera will tell you if you are lifting or twisting the correct way and help to reinforce good exercise technique. The Vera system also greatly benefits the physical therapist, because the data is shared with the PT, allowing them track their patient’s progress and adjust the program remotely if need be.

What Does The FDA Approval Mean?

Now that Reflexion Health has received FDA approval, the Vera technology will soon be able to benefit more patients than ever. “We are thrilled to be one of a growing number of digital medicine companies to receive FDA clearance to use innovative tools and methods, such as Vera, to deliver care in a more engaging and efficient way,” says Spencer Hutchins, CEO and co-founder of Reflexion Health. “We look forward to continuing to demonstrate Vera’s positive impact on patients, doctors, and therapists.”

Technology Is Changing The Way We Care For Others
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Medical School Enrollment Hits Record High

Medical schools across the country have reported a record breaking number of applications and enrollments, despite the fact that senior physicians warn of the volatility of the medical field.

There’s a lot of numbers and statistics to consider when the current state of medical school enrollment, so we took the liberty of breaking it all down for you in the infographic below.

Medical School Enrollment Hits Record High

  • Although enrollment and the amount of applications rose, the amount of residency programs remained stagnant.
  • The amount of minorities entering medical school looks promising with an increase of 11.6% Black students and a 6.9% increase in both Asian and Latino students.
  • Despite the growth, the ratio of male to female students remains largely unchanged.

What To Make Of The Numbers

So what do these numbers mean? Arcoding to the AAMC, students are not afraid to dive into the medical field despite the warnings of veteran physicians. They are comfortable with technology and expect that there will be more than a few challenges ahead.

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The Toughest Jobs To Fill: PTs and RNs Make The List

We’ve all been there. We’ve all gone through it. That agonizing feeling of finding that perfect job and then having your dreams crushed because a hiring manager says you don’t match the specific skill set that they’re looking for, making the job harder to fill. Some positions are more susceptible to this trend than others. Physical Therapist and Registered Nurse positions are among the top 10.

The Toughest Jobs To Fill Physical Therapist and Registered Nurse Make The List

A Competitive Job Market

According to a new report by CareerCast and the Society For Human Resource Management, there are several factors that contribute to “The 10 Toughest Jobs To Fill In 2016″. A possible labor shortage from retiring Baby Boomers could be one of the main reasons. It is estimated that nearly 38% of the working-age population will reach retirement in the next 10 years.

As it turns out, those same retirees will need healthcare services. Although physical therapy and nursing are listed as being ‘hard to fill positions’, both fields will likely see a spike in demand as the Baby Boomer population continues to retire.

In an effort to fill many of these job roles, companies and medical facilties will have to look towards younger candidates who can be trained and allowed to grow into the position

“The general increase in hourly rates across all settings is indicative of the lack of supply and the pent up demand for Therapists and Nurses,” said Mike Romano, COO of Ardor Health Solutions, “we’ve already seen the average rate go up $.75 from last year. So, we do expect that trend to continue.”

Where Have All The PT’s and RN’s Gone?

The Toughest Jobs To Fill Physical Therapist and Registered Nurse Make The List

Physical Therapist

The American Physical Therapy Association estimates that in 2016, demand for full-time physical therapists will exceed 229,000, with a pool of candidates of around 196,000—creating a gap of 33,000 unfilled jobs. Like other health care fields, demand is up due to greater accessibility to health insurance and the aging population.

Registered Nurse

The BLS projects a 19 percent growth rate by 2022, but it also estimates that 525,000 currently working registered nurses will have to be replaced due to retirements, which puts the total number of new hires anticipated at 1.05 million over the next seven years. In addition, the average age of working nurses is expected to rise to 44.6 from the current 42.7.

Looking Forward

Although Physical Therapists and Registered Nurses did make the list as some of the toughest jobs to fill, there is still a silver lining. Both positions may be tough to fill in 2016, but only because of a significant spike in demand as referenced above.

There is a lot of data to consider when trying to forecast the future of a particular sector of the healthcare sector.

Ardor Health Solutions recently compiled a brand new forecasting report for The Nursing Industry in 2016. The report crunches the numbers and looks deep into which way the nursing industry is trending.

Want to know more? Click below to view the report!