New app connects parents with therapists in Rehabilitation

During a therapy session at the Mackay Centre School, Physiotherapist Arlene Rosenberg from the Rehabilitation Program in Specialized Schools uses the Braver app to take a video that she will share with the child’s parents; she will also be able to explain her session and share strategies to enable the parents to practise skills at home.
During a therapy session at the Mackay Centre School, Physiotherapist Arlene Rosenberg from the Rehabilitation Program in Specialized Schools uses the Braver app to take a video that she will share with the child’s parents; she will also be able to explain her session and share strategies to enable the parents to practise skills at home.

A year ago, the Rehabilitation team in Specialized Schools at the Lethbridge-Layton-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre started brainstorming ways to include parents in therapy sessions, since evidence shows that parental involvement improves therapy outcomes dramatically.

The team thought that the ideal solution would be an app that could easily send photos and videos of therapy sessions to parents, and exchange strategies with them. So the team reached out to OROT, the connected health innovation hub of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal. OROT’s Head and Chief Innovation Officer, Danina Kapetanovic, and her team introduced the Rehabilitation professionals to Braver, an app that allows healthcare professionals to communicate securely for the benefit of patients. OROT facilitated a partnership and led Braver and the Rehabilitation team through a process of co-creation.

Braver has been adapted to the Rehabilitation team’s needs and is now being used in a pilot project, enabling parents to communicate directly with therapists and to gain greater insight into their child’s therapeutic journey.

“It’s exciting to see therapists and parents connecting more easily,” says Emily Lecker, Program Manager for the Rehabilitation Program in Specialized Schools. “Hopefully, this translates into parents feeling better equipped to try strategies at home, so that we’re all working together toward achieving the same goals.”

An evaluation phase is underway and the impact of the project is being studied by a research team from McGill University’s School of Physical and Occupational Therapy and the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation (CRIR).