The iPad is truly an amazing and powerful device that can really be helpful when using specifically designed apps for physical therapy. Below are 7 iPad apps that I use every day and find really useful in the clinical setting. These aren’t designed just for physical therapy and can be helpful for many rehabilitation, fitness, and manual therapy specialties.
Clicking any of the titles below will take you to the iTunes app store for more information.
VisibleBody’s muscle anatomy app is really impressive. The details of each muscle look great on the iPad, however, the ability to rotate, title, shift, and move in any direction to look at the anatomy from any angle is priceless. This is probably my favorite anatomy app at the moment. You can also selectively remove muscles and fade muscles to get a sense of depth and how different muscles are positioned. Here is a video demo of the app:
I used PocketBody for a long time before I found VisibleBody. PocketBody is another great anatomy app. Unlike VisibleBody, you can not freely zoom, rotate, and pan around the body to see the anatomy from any angle. However, PocketBody excels at showing you the depth of anatomy, taking back layer by layer to see how each interacts. This app really reminds me of the old Primal Pictures anatomy DVDs that were so popular in the past.
CORE, which stands for Clinical Orthopedic Exam, is another app with demonstrations of clinical tests. Like iOrtho+ above, there are over 200 tests available with numerous references and links to view the abstract or entire article. I feel like CORE has more references than iOrtho+ in my testing, but the biggest advantage CORE has is that there are actual video demonstrations of the techniques, not just still photos. However, iOrtho+ has both special tests and treatment techniques in one app. CORE is designed specifically for special tests with additional apps for manual techniques (see below).
Mobile OMT, or Mobile Orthopedic Manipulative Therapy, is an app by the makers of CORE above. The Mobile OMT app has a ton of high-quality videos of mobilization and manipulative techniques. I thought the videos were easy to follow with nice descriptions of each test. There are three separate apps for the spine, lower extremity, and upper extremity.
Kinesiocapture is an extremely powerful video capture and analysis app. For those that have used Dartfish on their computers, this is a similar piece of software that offers way more convenience by being able to record video, analyze, and review right on your iPad. The app has lots of useful tools to measure angles, apply posture grids, overlay video, and watch two videos side by side.
There are a ton of great uses for Kinesiocapture. In the fitness, performance, and biomechanical fields, the ability to assess sports performance is top-notch. For the rehabilitation specialist, you can measure angles, show changes over time or post-treatment, analyze posture, and assess movement quality.
Here is a screenshot from a couple of clips I shot measure hip ROM bilaterally, followed by a demo video of some sport performance applications:
I’m sure there are plenty more iPad apps for physical therapy that I have never seen, there are so many! What other iPad apps have you tried and recommend?