APTA's efforts to advance the physical therapy profession's role in digital health technology — and provide members with tools to take on that role — have earned national honors from the American Society of Association Executives.
The association's suite of digital health resources, as well as its Digital Health Transparency campaign, were recognized by ASAE with a Power of Associations Sliver Award, one of the association industry's highest honors. The award recognizes associations that "leverage their unique resources to solve problems, advance industry or professional performance, kick-start innovation, and improve conditions around the world." APTA will be officially recognized at ASAE's Summit Awards Dinner in September.
ASAE's recognition covers multiple APTA offerings, including a foundational paper and accompanying infographic on what it means to be a digitally enabled physical therapist, guidance on implementing services delivered via telehealth, and regularly updated content on topics including remote therapeutic monitoring and the ethics of digital physical therapy. The award also encompasses APTA's Digital Health Transparency Campaign, an initiative that urges digital health providers to commit to restricting any offerings described as physical therapy to only those performed or directed by a licensed physical therapist. To date, 25 companies have signed the pledge.
Since the nomination of APTA's digital health efforts for the ASAE award, the association has launched another key member resource — the APTA Digital Health App Formulary, powered by ORCHA. The formulary is a screening resource that offers up information on digital health apps that have met high standards for safety and effectiveness. The formulary is searchable based on conditions, patient populations, and body areas.
"Digital health is a broad and fast-moving concept, and it's important that the physical therapy profession is equipped to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities," said Drew Contreras, PT, DPT, APTA's vice president of clinician integration and innovation. "This recognition from ASAE not only helps us appreciate what we've accomplished so far, but reminds us how important it is to continue the work."
This isn't the first time APTA has been honored by ASAE. The association has received 10 ASAE awards over the years that recognized programs including the ChoosePT opioid crisis public service announcement in 2017, the #APTA100K member recruitment initiative in 2018, the association's rebranding efforts in 2020, and the APTA Association Leadership Scholars Program in 2022.