More and more health professionals are becoming aware of the incredible benefits that physical activity can bring. To quote NHS CEO Simon Stevens, “If you could pack exercise into a magic pill, it would be a pharmaceutical blockbuster”.
As health professionals, we have a lot of things on our plate and don’t always have the time to fit in everything we would like with our patients, including specific advice on how to get more active. We are also aware that for a lot of patients who are sedentary and / or suffering from a chronic health condition, it is not as easy as telling them they need to “get more active”. What does that mean to them? Patients can’t just be told to do 150 minutes a week of exercise: The programme time and intensity needs to be progressed gradually to get the patient to the correct level of physical activity for their needs and condition. What about safety? We know that physical activity is generally very safe if done in a graded approach, but there are condition specific contraindications. Who is allowed to complete a high intensity programme and who can only complete a moderate intensity programme? Who shouldn’t start a physical activity programme at all?
iPrescribe Exercise is the technology that gives you the tools to change all this.
After significant research and development, we came to the conclusion that we could develop a tool to automate aerobic physical activity prescription which was graduated and individualised to each patient. This would act as the perfect adjunct and allow us to give a consistently safe and evidence based programme in a user-friendly interface, which tracks the users progress, giving peace of mind to both ourselves and our patients that they are getting the best advice for their individual circumstances.
Using the latest evidence and incorporating guidelines from many different sources including the NHS and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) we have developed a unique app that uses an algorithm to provide the user with an automated, yet individualised activity programme that will gradually build them up over 12 weeks to their optimal but safe level of activity based on time and intensity. The user puts in some simple health and fitness information, including if they have any of 20 non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) and the app does the rest.
Safety is a priority: An initial medical screen assesses suitability for the programme, the app will analyse risk profile data and prescribe exercise accordingly. The app also contains specific precautions and contraindications to exercise based on the user’s health/medical condition.
Our years of experience as physiotherapists in prescribing physical activity programmes have taught us that the best type of activity for a person is the one that they enjoy most. There’s no point telling someone to go swimming, for instance, if they hate it! We have options such as GPS tracking of walking, cycling and running, gym programmes and intensity specific home aerobics programmes and have many other suggestions, but ultimately the choice is theirs. We also give tips on how they can fit it in to their day and make it clear that a day’s session doesn’t have to be completed in one go.
Further features of iPrescribe Exercise are;
- Built-in heart rate monitoring via the phone (the user places their finger over the camera flash)
- Progress reports that can be e-mailed to a health professional
- Weekly health data inputs to track response to exercise
We are currently conducting a couple of pilot studies with health professionals and are always looking for further projects and partners, so if you’d like to work with us or need any further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope that you will find iPrescribe Exercise a huge help to you and your patients or clients so why not give it a try, we would be delighted to get your feedback.
Lewis and Carron Manning
Founders of iPrescribe Exercise and Chartered Physiotherapists
Free to download on the app store https://appsto.re/gb/fwj6eb.i