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  • Writer's pictureCara Negri

How Video Analysis Helps With Patient Rehab

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

Video analysis, as the name suggests, is the process of using video to record patients during their rehabilitation. Video allows practitioners to make more informed decisions, and allows patients see their progress and adjust their goals. In addition, video can improve the patient’s experience, supplement observational gait assessments, and facilitate treatment planning.

The basics of video benefits

The advancements in technology are such that video is more user-friendly and cost-effective. It can benefit not only the practitioner, but also the patient during rehabilitation.

According to Toro (2013), it is difficult for the human eye to observe movements that last less than 60 milliseconds. As a result, it is hard to inspect the minutiae of a patient’s movement with the naked eye. A video makes it easy to record these movements, slow them down or quicken them, replay them, then make analyses. With 2d Motion software, users can make notes and marks on the videos for accuracy. In the same way that sports commentators use instant replay to validate or disagree with a referee’s call, practitioners can use video analysis for more accuracy.

Video analysis helps with patient analysis because it makes it easier to highlight and observe worrisome or concerning issues in patients, things you maybe didn’t see before with the naked eye. For example, video analysis can help you document issues and come up with a plan for reducing gait deviations. For example, the results of the gait score and video can be shared with the physical therapist to facilitate treatment.

Make note of a patient’s progress

Video analysis helps with patient rehabilitation because it is an excellent tool to make note of a patient’s progress. Not only does it allow the practitioner more depth of observation, but it allows the patient to see how they’re doing. Video analysis can help show a patient why they’re wearing a device and what the device is doing to help protect their joints. It provides a visual history that allows the patient to see how they’re doing.

Video analysis is also helpful for speed measurement—how quickly or slowly someone

walks—and that can be a determinant of a patient’s safety and/or risk of fall. Speed can also be an indication of how quickly a patient is progressing in their rehabilitation. If they are able to advance their speed, for example, then it is likely that they are advancing in their rehab.

More Accurate Than Notetaking

Reviewing the video rather than notes will help practitioners identify change much more quickly. Notes can be difficult to update if they depend on a practitioner’s memory, especially if one has back to back patients. The alternative, video analysis, allows for accurate recording a patient’s movement and progress, and more efficient rehabilitation.

Notes are fine, but the alternative is video, which is a more efficient tool in patient rehabilitation. Further, reviewing a patient’s video while completing chart notes will help to ensure more thorough documentation. Using video analysis before a patient’s session can make your thoughts for what needs to happen in the upcoming session more accurate.

Supplement Observational Gait Assessments

According to Toro, visual diagnosis of a patient's gait in real time is subjective, lacks accuracy, and relies on the clinician's training and experience. You can use video in conjunction with an observational gait score to increase the reliability of those scores. In fact, as Rathinam posits, gait scores are often tested for reliability using video. Possible measurements to use include the Edinburgh Visual Gait Score (EVGS), Rancho Los Amigos System, Rivermead Visual Gait Assessment, and Prosthetic Observational Gait Score. The EVGS is a comprehensive video assessment tool that has been found to be sensitive enough to detect changes in gait due to a change in intervention.

Provide Feedback for Gait Training

Gait deviations are often signs of compensations. VOGA can help the practitioner pinpoint areas in the body where these efficiency losses originate. For example, consider the patient who might not realize that he or she isn't performing the arm swing because of the focus required simply for walking. Take a baseline video to demonstrate the deviation. Because the patient has now been made aware of the problem, he or she will likely swing his or her arms for the next walk cycle that you record. You can then show the patient any asymmetry in the arm swing and continue working on the deviation. At the end of the session, compare the baseline video and the final video to see the progress. Your patient will walk out of your clinic feeling accomplished and motivated to keep improving.

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