Treatment app for knee supports “A digital tool we can build upon”
Joshua Schirm helped developed the new Bauerfeind exercise program. In the following interview, Schirm, a physiotherapist
with his own practice in Lauingen/Donau, Germany, talks about
the things the treatment app can do.
What’s so special about the treatment app?
Joshua Schirm: It’s been approved as a medical product , which sets it apart from all the numerous wellness and health apps out there. It also works completely in line with the given medical indication. In other words, the app assigns users the right therapeutic exercises on the basis of their diagnosis and any surgical treatment they may have received. They can then use the app and the knee support to do exercises at home.
Doesn’t having patients doing exercises at home have a negative effect on your treatment approach?
Joshua Schirm: Not at all! The app is a digital tool that helps patients with their training, and we can build upon the results of that training in our practice, where we also have patients do exercises while wearing GenuTrain supports. The active supports help activate and mobilize patients, especially in situations marked by a high level of strain. Muscle tensioning and toning exercises build up muscles, and activation plays a key role in cases of diffuse knee pain, osteoarthritis of the knee, and swelling. Ultimately, it’s better both for us and for patients if they can train before and after they visit us. In other words, the app doesn’t replace us as therapists; it assists us.
“Evidence-based procedures are also very important in physiotherapy.”
How do you motivate your patients to use the treatment app?
Joshua Schirm: Alex, who’s the trainer in the app, does his job very well. Simple, safe, and effective exercises form the basis for his instructions. A reminder feature and other app features like “Pain tracking” provide additional motivation, and the app’s continuously updated content serves as a further incentive.
How were you involved in the app’s development?
Joshua Schirm: My job was to further develop a set of basic exercises into exercise units that would best suit the app’s purposes. It was important to me here to filter out those exercises whose effectiveness has been clearly proven. Evidence-based procedures are also very important in physiotherapy. Basically, my contribution to the app was to create appropriate exercise units.
How would you assess the value the app offers to patients and therapists?
Joshua Schirm: I’m certain that both groups will recognize and utilize the benefits offered by a treatment app for knee supports, and I don’t just mean young patients here. In general , the possibility to train under guidance on one’s own, and strengthen one’s knee muscles, saves everyone a lot of time – and time isn’t something we have a lot of in most practices. In this sense, the app also helps us provide more effective treatment.
Will there be more treatment apps?
Joshua Schirm: It would be short-sighted not to make use of what we learn here, which is why we’re already planning on expanding the app and its features.
Image: Joshua Schirm
Physiotherapist Joshua Schirm helped develop the new treatment app for knee supports.
- The app consists of basic exercises that patients perform with their knee support on.
- A reminder function and achievable weekly targets increase patient motivation.
- The app is a medical product that works completely in line with the given medical indication.
is a physiotherapist with his own practice in Lauingen/Donau in Germany. He helped develop the new Bauerfeind treatment app and also serves as a consultant to the company. His work focuses on active treatment approaches that enable patients to return to a normal way of life in the shortest possible time. Joshua Schirm uses active and passive measures, including extensive patient education, and also conducts behavioral analyses. He is considered a young pioneer in his field. Among other things, he has incorporated the use of supports into his physiotherapy exercises. At the moment, he is completing a training program for certification as a business coach (IHK – Chamber of Industry and Commerce)
(As of: July 2018; Image: Joshua Schirm)