Physiotec was founded in 1994 in the rural, northern Quebec community of Chapais. The family business was born out of a keen understanding of the need for physiotherapists to be able to access exercises to build treatment plans for their patients. The mission was twofold: to make it simpler and quicker for physiotherapists to create and prescribe home exercise programs by “automating” the process, and to improve patient outcomes by providing therapists with the latest rehabilitation therapy techniques and video instructions so patients can continue progressing at home with simple instructions.

The company has come a long way since its foundation 30 years ago, and that’s thanks largely to Etienne and Mathieu Gobeil, brothers and current co-owners of Physiotec, who’ve guided the company into today’s digital-driven age through technological innovation, while meeting the evolving needs of healthcare professionals.

The perfect guys for the job

Etienne and Mathieu joined Physiotec in 2007 when the product was only being sold in a few hospital settings in the province of Quebec. “We joined because it was such a revolutionary idea; it was not just a business,” Etienne says. “At the time, Physiotec was unique.”

Mathieu explains: “We were calling potential clients saying, ‘We will give video access to your patients,’ and they said, ‘That is such a clever idea.’ We were the only ones doing that.”

And with the library of exercises and treatment plans having recently been moved to the cloud, the possibilities were limitless. This made it even easier for patients to access their exercise programs. The company was full of potential, and Etienne’s engineering expertise together with Mathieu’s knack for sales was the perfect combination to help Physiotec take off.

Global reach

Though they never invested much in marketing, their product sold itself—catching the eye of practitioners from many different countries.

In the years since they took over the company, Etienne and Mathieu have taken Physiotec from a small Quebec company to a resource for physiotherapists and patients all over the world. Today, it’s used in more than 91 different countries by over 16 million patients.

They believe to grow their business, they must invest in truly understanding the evolving needs of their clients, and create products and services that align seamlessly with those needs. The brothers have also worked closely with their clients to ensure the product is doing what it’s meant to do: fulfill the needs of physiotherapists and ensure patients have the tools they need for successful recoveries.

“What has defined the company is our agility,” Mathieu says. “We can jump on a new project. We can change things quickly. We have high velocity. We are responsive. We are always willing to talk and understand our clients’ needs.”

Expanding and growing

Building upon the success of Physiotec, Etienne and Mathieu have expanded the platform to assist speech therapists and veterinarians specializing in animal rehab—and this is just the beginning. Their formula and approach to meeting clients’ unique needs is getting glowing reviews, and their success is fueling their growth in rehabilitation therapy.

“I have always been proud of what we achieved and who we were at any given moment, just like I am today,” Etienne says. “What I am most proud of is the perception our clients have of Physiotec. They like us, they appreciate our team, they are proud of our success. ”

Among their priorities for the future is evolving the platform into a patient-relationship management solution, so it can follow the patient through the recovery journey using information from all the healthcare providers involved in that person’s treatment.

A new name for a new stage

While the name “Physiotec” is a reflection of where the company started all those years ago, it has come a long way in three decades, and its name is changing to represent where it’s headed.

Under the new name “Wibbi,” the company will offer its services to a host of different types of healthcare professionals who can benefit from being able to offer at-home instructions to their patients, creating a one-stop-shop for those looking to access information about their treatment and recovery journey. One of the main objectives is to provide patients with videos and reading materials while they are waiting for treatment, as well as all the information they need to recover once they leave the hospital.

Wibbi is not about technology and content alone; it’s about helping both therapists and patients thrive. It will notify health specialists if patients are not following their treatment plan or need their attention, and it will also assist patients through their journey during and after treatment.

The vision is for Wibbi to be an extension of the health system so patients don’t feel abandoned when they’re discharged. At the heart of Wibbi’s mission are two primary goals: amplifying therapist efficiency and elevating patient recovery. The demand for improved healthcare is growing, and Wibbi is ready to meet this challenge head-on.

Reshaping the industry

The need for enhanced healthcare is strong and growing, and Wibbi is determined to rise to the challenge with Etienne and Mathieu at the helm. Wibbi has long been a leader in this marketplace, and it’s only getting started. What began as a small company in rural, northern Quebec is now changing the face of healthcare for professionals and patients alike. Wibbi is reshaping the industry by delivering tailored, accessible information that enhances the experiences of professionals and patients worldwide.

In the dynamic landscape of health and fitness education, universities are constantly seeking innovative ways to prepare students for the challenges of the ever-evolving industry. One promising avenue for enhancement is the integration of Home Exercise Program (HEP) software into the curriculum, providing students with a practical and interactive learning experience. Let’s explore how this incorporation can revolutionize health and fitness education.

Bridging Theory and Practice for Holistic Learning Experiences

Traditional classroom learning lays the foundation for students’ understanding of exercise science and rehabilitation. However, the gap between theory and practical application can be vast. By introducing HEP software into the curriculum, universities empower students to translate their theoretical knowledge into real-world scenarios. This hands-on experience is invaluable for bridging the gap and preparing students for the complexities they will encounter in their future careers.

Interactive Learning: Bringing Theoretical Concepts to Life

HEP software transforms the learning process into an interactive experience. Students actively engage with the software, designing personalized exercise programs based on theoretical concepts. This active participation reinforces their understanding of exercise prescription, ensuring that the knowledge gained in the classroom becomes deeply ingrained.

Skill Development for Future Professionals

Beyond theoretical understanding, HEP software facilitates the development of practical skills essential for future professionals. Students learn to design, adapt, and tailor exercise regimens according to individual needs and health conditions. These skills are not only crucial for success in the field but also for ensuring that graduates are well-prepared to address the diverse needs of their future clients.

In conclusion, the integration of Home Exercise Program software into university curricula represents a transformative step in health and fitness education. By providing students with practical, personalized, and technologically savvy learning experiences, universities can better prepare the next generation of professionals for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the dynamic world of health and fitness.

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All healthcare professionals from physical therapists and occupational therapists to family physicians must now use remote monitoring if they want to be relevant in today’s healthcare service. RTM can also help you provide better patient outcomes while scaling your business by incorporating digital technologies to enhance your human services.

What Is Remote Therapeutic Monitoring?

Remote therapeutic monitoring treatment refers to the use of a medical device to monitor patient progress and collect non-physiological data in between medical visits. This remote monitoring can help PTs create better treatment plans through the use of client-specific data.

RTM is often used for remote monitoring of the respiratory system and musculoskeletal systems. Virtual monitoring includes the monitoring of treatment progression, adherence to treatment, and the collection of non-physiological data in between medical visits.

Non-physiological data can refer to subjective data like your patient’s self-reports on pain or whether or not they are sticking to their exercise schedule. This type of data is considered subjective and was previously difficult for healthcare professionals to bill for. That all changed in 2022 with the introduction of remote therapeutic monitoring RTM codes.

What Are Remote Therapeutic Monitoring Codes?

Remote therapeutic monitoring codes allow therapists like physical therapists and occupational therapists to bill for their remote monitoring work. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced remote therapeutic monitoring codes in January 2022. With the introduction of the CPT codes, CMS also provided more information about what falls under those codes.

According to CMS, RTM is the providing of remote care by eligible qualified healthcare professionals like physical therapists and occupational therapists. That care can pertain to the respiratory and musculoskeletal systems, therapy adherence, and therapy response. There are a number of CPT codes that fall under RTM, with each code pertaining to different levels of monitoring of patient data, reporting, and treatments.

CPT Code 98975

According to a November 2021 publication by the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), CPT code 98975 is defined as follows: “Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (e.g., respiratory system status, musculoskeletal system status, therapy adherence, therapy response); initial set-up and patient education on the use of equipment.”
You can use this code when you first set your patient up for remote therapeutic monitoring. That includes when you’re educating them about the device they’ll be using and setting the device up for them. Since you should only be doing the first setup once, you can only charge for it once. Of course, if you start a new treatment and need to do a new set-up and education session then you can bill again for a new round of treatment.

CPT code 98976

According to DHHS, CPT code 98976 is defined as follows: “Remote therapeutic monitoring (e.g., respiratory system status, musculoskeletal system status, therapy adherence, therapy response); device(s) supply with scheduled (e.g., daily) recording(s) and/or programmed alert(s) transmission to monitor respiratory system, each 30 days.”
This particular CPT code is specifically for the monitoring of the respiratory system over 30 days with scheduled recordings and alerts. So you’re reporting using this cpt code would include the device and the monitoring. You can bill this once for each month of treatment.

CPT code 98980

According to DHHS, CPT code 98980 is defined as follows: “Remote therapeutic monitoring treatment management services, physician/ other qualified health care professional time in a calendar month requiring at least one interactive communication with the patient/caregiver during the calendar month; first 20 minutes.”
So this CPT code is for any RTM where you have to have at least one interaction with your patient at least once a month for at least 20 minutes. This interactive communication can include you assessing your patient’s self-reported data and then using that data to decide on treatment and communicating your communication to your patient or their caregiver.

CPT code 98976

According to DHHS, CPT code 98976 is defined as follows: “Remote therapeutic monitoring (e.g., respiratory system status, musculoskeletal system status, therapy adherence, therapy response); device(s) supply with scheduled (e.g., daily) recording(s) and/or programmed alert(s) transmission to monitor respiratory system, each 30 days.”
This particular CPT code is specifically for the monitoring of the respiratory system over 30 days with scheduled recordings and alerts. So you’re reporting using this cpt code would include the device and the monitoring. You can bill this once for each month of treatment.

What Is The Difference Between Remote Therapeutic Monitoring And Remote Patient Monitoring?

If you’re wondering why there is a need for new RTM codes when the Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) codes already exist, it’s because they are two very different things. RPM codes are used for remote physiologic monitoring while RTM codes are used for non-physiological monitoring.

RPM means using a medical device to transmit data related to physiological factors like blood pressure levels, heart rate, weight, and more. Physiotherapy billing practitioners cannot use those codes to collect non-physiological data. With the new CPT codes for RTM, non-physiological data can be collected on things like pain tolerance, program adherence, and key information through self-reported data like how your client might be feeling on any given day.

In both cases, whether you use an RTM code or an RPM code, you must collect data through a medical device. That RPM or RTM device can include an app on a tablet or phone, which makes billing easier for primary billers in the therapy space.

Benefits Of Remote Therapeutic Monitoring In Physiotherapy

Remote care allows you to provide better care. That’s because you are no longer reliant on single in-person visits to create the most viable treatment option for your client. Instead, through the use of medical devices that can be digital self-reporting tools you can assess your client throughout their treatment journey. That means you get to monitor and adjust your treatment when necessary.

Additionally, thanks to the use of the RTM codes, you don’t have to do that additional work for free. You can use the various RTM codes to bill each part of the service you provide in between your visits. For example, instead of freely giving out monitoring devices and educating your clients on them, you can bill for those monitoring devices and the monitoring you provide.

Additionally, accessibility to frequent face-to-face interactions with a physical therapist can be difficult for folks living in smaller towns and remote locations. With RTM and RTM Codes for billing you have the opportunity to provide excellent care from afar. That allows you to monitor your patients beyond a single visit so you get a deeper insight into the problem, the obstacle, and the solution.

Why RTM Represents An Expansion Of Reimbursement For The Use Of Remote Monitoring Technologies

Previously, healthcare professionals may have used remote therapeutic monitoring but could not bill for it. They could not bill for the time spent in educating their patient about the device for monitoring, nor providing the device. The introduction of the RTM code means that organizations like the American Medical Association (AMA) which governs the use of CPT codes see the value in remote monitoring in both the physiological and non-physiological indicators of fitness and effectiveness.

There seems to be a clear change in value mission that now sees the ability sees value in your being able to offer that non-physiological monitoring whereas before it was only remote physiological monitoring that was valued and allowed to be billed.

Types Of Technologies And Tools For Remote Therapeutic Monitoring In Physiotherapy

There are numerous technologies you can utilize to use RTM codes for physiotherapy. You can provide your clients with wearable devices like accelerometers for tracking movement and exercise. This can help you determine program adherence and figure out early signs of other difficulties in movement and abilities.
You can also utilize mobile applications as medical devices to allow for self-reporting data from your patients. There is still thought research going into what apps should be considered medical devices for RTM codes. However, currently, if you provide a device to your client with an app that allows you to monitor non-physiological data, it is considered billable using an RTM code.

Is Remote Therapeutic Monitoring For You?

Remote monitoring in healthcare is here to stay. For physical therapists, it is especially important because relying on infrequent medical visits to ensure your treatment provides results is not enough. Patients expect more from their healthcare providers now, including the use of tech. Tech-enhanced healthcare allows you to access data previously unavailable to you. This in turn assists you in providing better patient outcomes.
Previously, it was difficult for healthcare practitioners to bill for non-physiological remote monitoring despite its benefits. With the new RTM code, health professionals like physical therapists can bill for all the time spent on care in between medical visits. The use of digital technologies to enhance the human services you provide makes your practice leaner and more efficient which can help you scale your practice and help more patients.

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As a result, understanding the factors that influence patient adherence is crucial for physical therapists to develop strategies that enhance compliance and optimize patient outcomes. By implementing effective strategies and promoting patient adherence, physical therapists can maximize the benefits of a home exercise program and contribute to successful rehabilitation outcomes.

What Is A Home Exercise Program?

We all might be familiar with home workouts, but these aren’t quite the same as a home exercise workout, so let’s make the distinction. In physical therapy, a home exercise program (HEP) is a set of exercises prescribed by a physical therapist for patients to perform independently at home. These exercises aim to:

Ideally, an HEP is tailored to each patient’s needs with considerations of their diagnosis, limitations, and goals to empower patients to take an active role in their recovery, allowing them to continue rehabilitation outside of therapy sessions. An HEP is a vital component of physical therapy that empowers patients to actively participate in their recovery process, and it promotes continuity of care, allows for consistent engagement in therapeutic activities, and ultimately enhances the potential for positive outcomes in rehabilitation.

Why Patient Adherence Matters

Patient adherence has become a highly prevalent topic in physical therapy, and for good reason. If you’re not familiar with patient adherence, it essentially refers to how well patients stick to their recommended HEPs in terms of frequency, duration, and intensity, and it directly affects how effective the physical therapy is for the patient.

Adherence to an HEP also prevents setbacks and re-injury, while helping to both maintain progress made during therapy sessions as well as minimize regression. It enhances stability, promotes healing, and prevents deconditioning, sustaining functional abilities and preventing relapses.

On top of that, adherence reflects a commitment to self-management and active participation in recovery. It empowers patients, fosters control, and promotes a proactive mindset.

Finally, patient adherence contributes to a positive therapeutic alliance by creating a partnership, enhancing communication, and building trust.

Factors Affecting Patient Adherence In Home Exercise Programs

Several factors can influence exercise adherence to HEPs in physical therapy, and understanding them is crucial for physical therapists to develop strategies that enhance compliance and optimize patient outcomes.

Here are some key factors that can impact adherence in exercise programs:

Motivation and Beliefs

Motivation plays a crucial role in patients’ commitment to their Home Exercise Programs (HEPs). Doubts about the effectiveness of exercises or personal capabilities can impede motivation, leading to misconceptions about their condition and potentially ineffective interventions. Building a strong relationship, trust, and effective communication between physical therapists and patients is essential to overcome these barriers and ensure a successful intervention plan. Physical therapists must address and dispel patients’ beliefs, educate them on the benefits of exercise, and establish a supportive environment to enhance motivation.

Accessibility and Convenience

The accessibility and convenience of an HEP can greatly impact how likely a patient is to follow through on it. If the exercises require equipment they don’t have, or if they take up too much time, it can discourage patients from sticking to the program. That’s why physical therapists must consider a patient’s environment, resources, and schedule.

Physical and Emotional Barriers

Physical limitations like pain and fatigue, or emotional factors like stress, anxiety, or depression can greatly hinder patient adherence in an exercise program, as they may find it challenging to perform exercises consistently if they experience discomfort or are emotionally overwhelmed. Physical therapists should carefully assess and address these barriers, providing modifications, pain management strategies, or psychological support when necessary.

How To Create A Home Exercise Program That Can Improve Patient Adherence

For both physical and occupational therapists, it is not just your responsibility to prescribe HEPs, but also to ensure that your patients are following them diligently. Any patient’s road to recovery is a rocky one, but adherence to a HEP can significantly improve patient outcomes.

1. Help Them Understand the Purpose

Educating patients about the purpose and goals of their HEP helps them grasp the relevance and importance of each exercise. Numerous studies from the Johns Hopkins University about patient adherence have consistently shown that patients’ comprehension of their medical conditions and treatment plans is directly linked to their adherence. Additionally, there is a positive correlation between adherence, patient satisfaction, recall, and the quantity and quality of information provided to patients.

When patients understand how specific exercises contribute to their recovery or functional improvement, they are more motivated to perform them consistently which, in turn, enhances patient engagement and compliance. That’s why Wibbi places a strong emphasis on providing knowledge through resources and literature for patient education.

2. Include Photos & Videos in Your Home Exercise Program

Including photos and videos in HEPs for physical therapy patients can offer several significant benefits. Photos and videos provide visual demonstrations of exercises, allowing patients to have a clear understanding of how each exercise should be performed. Written instructions alone may be open to interpretation or may not provide enough detail for patients to execute exercises correctly. By including visual media, physical therapists can ensure that patients have a clear and accurate understanding of the exercise techniques, proper form, and movement patterns.

Visual cues in photos and videos can also help patients refine their technique and ensure they are performing exercises with the correct form. This is particularly crucial in physical therapy, as improper technique can lead to further injury or hinder progress. Patients can observe proper body alignment, joint positions, and movement patterns through visual media, enabling them to mimic the correct form and reduce the risk of injury.

3. Include Brief Descriptions of Each Exercise

Providing clear and concise descriptions of exercises helps patients better understand how to perform them correctly. Written instructions can clarify important details such as body position, movement patterns, and proper form. This understanding reduces the risk of incorrect execution, minimizes the potential for injury, and ensures that patients receive the intended benefits from each exercise.

Exercise descriptions serve as a valuable reference for patients, especially when they are performing exercises independently at home. By having a clear description of each exercise, patients can refer back to it whenever they need a reminder of the correct technique. This helps them stay on track with their home exercise program and encourages compliance, as they feel confident in their ability to perform the exercises accurately.

4. Use Home Exercise Program Software

With visual demonstrations and progress tracking, HEP software can empower patients to perform exercises correctly and stay motivated.

HEP software also facilitates communication between patients and therapists. Therapists can provide feedback and address concerns remotely, while patients can share progress and difficulties. This ongoing interaction strengthens the therapeutic relationship and ensures guidance and support throughout the rehabilitation journey.

HEP software also enables comprehensive documentation, since it automatically records exercise details, aiding clinical assessments, insurance claims, and research. Additionally, patient information can be securely stored and shared among healthcare providers involved in the patient’s care.

5. Measure Patient Adherence

Tracking adherence allows healthcare professionals to evaluate the effectiveness of prescribed exercises and make necessary adjustments while promoting patient accountability and motivation, leading to higher compliance rates and increased patient engagement.

Monitoring adherence also provides valuable data for evaluating treatment progress over time and identifying correlations between adherence levels and treatment success. This data-driven approach helps therapists make informed decisions about treatment adjustments and resource allocation. Additionally, measuring adherence fosters effective communication and collaboration between patients and providers, allowing for personalized feedback and addressing any challenges or concerns. Overall, incorporating adherence measurement into physical therapy practices enhances treatment outcomes, optimizes patient engagement, and improves the quality of care.

6. Customize Home Exercise Programs

Customization is essential in physical therapy for several reasons. Firstly, each patient has a unique medical condition or injury that requires a tailored exercise program. A one-size-fits-all approach is not suitable as what works for one patient may not work for another. By customizing the program, therapists can address specific needs, limitations, and goals for recovery.

On top of that, customization ensures that exercises are suitable for the patient’s abilities and fitness level; some patients may also have physical limitations that require modifications. This ensures that the exercises are challenging enough for progress and recovery but not too strenuous to cause harm.

7. Encourage Regular Feedback and Open Communication

Educating patients about the purpose and goals of their HEP helps them grasp the relevance and importance of each exercise. Numerous studies have consistently shown that patients’ comprehension of their medical conditions and treatment plans is directly linked to their adherence. Additionally, there is a positive correlation between adherence, patient satisfaction, recall, and the quantity and quality of information provided to patients.

When patients understand how specific exercises contribute to their recovery or functional improvement, they are more motivated to perform them consistently which, in turn, enhances patient engagement and compliance. That’s why Wibbi places a strong emphasis on providing knowledge through resources and literature for patient education.

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What is Remote Therapeutic Monitoring?

Remote Therapeutic Monitoring involves leveraging technology to remotely monitor and manage patients’ health conditions. By collecting real-time data, analyzing it, and providing interventions without the need for in-person visits, RTM empowers patients to actively participate in their own care from the comfort of their homes.

The Benefits Of RTM

Several factors can influence exercise adherence to HEPs in physical therapy. Some of the key benefits include:

Key Billing Codes for RTM

In the United States, to facilitate reimbursement for RTM services, specific codes have been established. These codes include:

Choosing The Right Software

To effectively implement RTM, providers need reliable software that meets regulatory requirements and streamlines the monitoring process. When selecting software, consider the following.

FDA Approval

Ensure that the software and any wearable devices associated with RTM have the necessary approvals from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Integration and Features

Look for software that integrates seamlessly with electronic medical record (EMR) systems and offers features such as tracking exercise progress, providing patient reminders, and enabling easy communication between patients and healthcare providers.

Compliance Tracking

The software should have the ability to track patient compliance with exercise programs, device usage, and interaction with the RTM system, facilitating accurate billing and reporting.

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Physiotec’s RTM solution is available as part of the Enterprise HEP subscription

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