A simple, user-friendly app for decision making in the treatment of upper extremity impairments following stroke is welcomed!

The ViaTherapy app, created by Dr. Mark Bayley at Toronto Rehab and Dr. Steven Wolf of Emory University, was launched in 2017 and was recently named one of the Top 5 rehab apps at the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Neurology (ACPIN) meeting held in Manchester, U.K.

Twenty-three clinicians and researchers, and 10 consultants with expertise in the treatment of survivors of stroke and in exploring novel interventions to improve upper extremity function collaborated to develop the evidence-based application (‘app’) for post stroke upper extremity rehabilitation. The emphasis was on factors contributing to optimal limb use. The team gathered evidence to determine best practices to reduce impairments and enhance participation. Patient’s communication, visual perception and cognition were considered according to the extent that they affected the optimal application of interventions to develop the ‘app’. The team evaluated the evidence to support the timely and appropriate provision of interventions and the most defensible outcome measures during a 4-year voluntary information gathering and assimilation effort to develop the sequencing of an algorithm informed by the data and directed by changes in impairment and chronicity.

The findings were first presented at the World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress in Singapore, 2015. The audience, who were highly favorable to this novel tool offered extensive input and assisted to improve the ‘app’.

So far, 7,750 people have downloaded the app on the iTunes and Google Play stores. The free app provides best practice and evidence-based recovery interventions for upper extremity stroke rehabilitation.

Learn more at viatherapy.org

Initial funding to undertake this work came from the Canadian Stroke Network.