Physical therapists are vital in the design, development, and implementation of sensing technologies and robotic interfaces. Rather than be passive consumers of these technologies, physical therapists must evolve into proactive partners by working with engineers to induce discoveries that will optimize best practice principles for our patients. The goal of this site is to highlight all expanding possibilities of interfacing sensing technologies and robotics with physical therapy to evaluate, treat, and monitor complex interactions within the human movement system, following disease or injury. Indeed, gaps in our knowledge of how best to treat our clients can be partially attributed to the fact that quantifying the impact of physical therapy applications at the molecular, cellular, and systems levels is complex and mostly unknown. This website is a resource for clinicians, students, clients, caregivers, and researchers to stay current on the emerging trends and concepts of sensing technologies and robotic interfaces that hold great promise in addressing our knowledge gaps.
The resources below are intended to help provide background information to this emerging field that is relevant to physical therapist practice. More content will be posted here as it becomes available. If you have any questions or suggestions for this webpage, please email the Practice Department.
Sensors and Robotics and the FiRST Council
Sensors and robotics is part of APTA's Frontiers in Research, Science, and Technology (FiRST) Council. FiRST grew out of identification of high priority areas to advance science and innovation that our profession needs to understand and incorporate into our practice, education, and research.
FiRST is intended to serve as a community for interested stakeholders. Ideas generated by the council may be implemented by participants' stakeholder groups (sections, academies, external groups, APTA, etc) at the discretion of each entity's governing body.