Later this year, a pair of Texas schools will begin analyzing data accumulated by a Dallas-based startup’s new physical therapy platform, which offers a digital approach to assess a patient’s range of motion.
Physmodo, a 2014 graduate of downtown startup incubator Health Wildcatters, is hoping its program will guide physical therapists into the 21st century. They hope to do away with the traditional goniometer—a protractor with two arms that measures the angle of the patient’s joint to determine range of motion.
With Physmodo’s program, which is used with Microsoft Kinect technology, therapists can collect data on multiple joints simultaneously rather than joint by joint. Physmodo has created a tool that aims to bridge the gap between sports medicine and technology to help care for athletes.
“Using this program allows both physical therapists and patients to visually see progress when a patient is going through recovery,” said Nake Sekander, co-founder of Physmodo.
The company designed the ADEPT Clinic app, a tool that allows physical therapists to quickly take range of motion measurements. When a patient stands in front of the MicrosoftKinect sensor, the ADEPT Clinic app recognizes and picks up multiple joints on the patient’s body. By going through some basic motions, such as lunges or squats, the sensor monitors the changes in movement and provides data for the physical therapist to analyze.
They can then determine what exercises or treatments the patient might need for recovery as well as track the patient’s progress. The technology works to assess and analyze the athlete’s performance levels off the field. The program also records a patient’s session, allowing the physical therapist to go back and compare footage from different appointments.
Two independent studies at Parker University and Texas Tech Physical Therapy School will soon launch to further analyze the effectiveness of the Physmodo. Researchers at Parker are seeking to confirm the accuracy and reliability of the product compared to the traditional method of using a goniometer and inclinometer. The studies will begin this fall.
“We’re looking at how to create examination systems to improve the pace of the patient examination; what will make the patient examination faster, more accurate and quantifiable,” said Mark Mandell, executive director of Parker Professional at Parker University.
Health Wildcatters had a substantial impact on the business strategy, Sekander says. The company originally targeted professional sports teams. Advisors provided through the program helped Physmodo broaden its potential users to physical therapists, occupational therapists, and chiropractors.
“Health Wildcatters was really helpful for us early on just because of their healthcare insights and mentors. It helped us shape our business model, shape how we approach the healthcare industry,” said Sekander. “It was sort of a stamp of approval for us.”
The company has already partnered with the Texas Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Group, Ethos Education Group, Griffins Rugby, Parker Chiropractic Clinic, and is currently in discussions with several local professional teams, says Sekander. He declined to say which.
“Physmodo has a bright future ahead, working in an extremely competitive market,” said Health Wildcatters CEO Dr. Hubert Zajicek. “Physmodo has established traction in the sports medicine market and continued to attract large corporations wanting to partner because of Physmodo’s superior products and pilot programs.”
Its immediate goal is to complete its first fundraising cycle. Their next step is to focus on sales and distribution, with potential plans for a program that can use any type of sensor. While Physmodo is currently targeted towards athletes with injuries, the company hopes to adopt the program for use at gyms by trainers trying to help their clients. It’s headquartered in the Cedars.
“We want to change physical medicine, change physical fitness for everybody,” Sekander said. “Working with elite athletes gives you a very good opportunity to have consistent data with super knowledgeable individuals that can then be brought down to consumers.”