Guest: Marijn Kortekaas
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Marijn Kortekaas is a Partner & Program Director Asia Pacific with Physitrack, a global digital therapeutics platform used by thousands of practitioners around the world to prescribe clinical exercise programs to patients and track patient adherence, pain levels and other outcomes in real-time. With 16 years of experience in international business development, including seven years with Nike, Marijn is passionate about using the latest app-based technologies to change the way healthcare is delivered, engage patients throughout their rehabilitation process, and allow healthcare practitioners detailed insight in the patient journey.
Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, we are joined by Physitrack Partner & Program Director Asia Pacific Marijn Kortekaas here to provide a brief background of their product and explain how their Digital Therapeutics Platform work.They help physiotherapists, surgeons, chiropractors and other practitioners better engage patients, help increase patient adherence and therefore help improve treatment outcomes. Physitrack is the exclusive exercise technology partner of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Sports Medicine Australia, Chiropractors’ Association of Australia and Chiropractic Australia. They also work closely with leading healthcare organisations and universities in the country.
Health Professional Radio – Physitrack
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and today my guest joins me from Melbourne in Australia, he is Marijn Kortekaas. Now Marijn is the Partner and Program Director Asia Pacific at Physitrack. Marijin welcome to the program.
Marijn Kortekaas: Thanks Wayne. Thanks for having me on.
W: Now Physitrack’s not a name that immediately tells me what it does and what you do so can you fill us in on what it is that Physitrack does? And what geographic footprint you work in?
M: Yeah, absolutely. So Physitrack is a cloud based digital therapeutic solution for healthcare practitioners. And basically helps them to create and prescribe clinical exercise programs to their patients. And also track patient adherence, pain levels and a range of other outcomes in real time. And where Physitrack started basically in back in 2011, one of the family members of one of our co-founders had a knee reconstruction and as part of his rehabilitation like many other people going thru rehab, was given a piece of paper with exercises scribbled on it. For him being in pain and at the same time in this day and age of iPhones and iPads, he was quite amazed he would actually receive a piece of paper with exercises he found hard to understand on how to perform the exercises. But also the way it was delivered to him in terms of a piece of paper didn’t quite motivate him to complete the exercises. Again, an issue that healthcare practitioners would see with patients across the board. So he thought there must be a better way, so his here talk to one of his, again family members, one of our co-founders and together with our other co-founder who is a CTO and a good friend of mine start at Physitrack back in 2012. So we’ve been around for the last 4 years and launched in Australia, the UK, the US, and also the Netherlands in 2014. We also launched in Germany with the German side local language side last year in 2015. And we’re now used by around 6,000 practitioners around the world with close to a quarter of a million patients, which is quite astonishing given I suppose, we really launched Physitrack about 18 months ago.
W: So if I’ve got the picture right here, this is replacing the printed paper often … copied instructions for patients who have seen a therapist. And not only as it presenting that information in a rather context out of the web but it’s also then allowing the patient to interact with the system and record their progress and how they’re going?
M: Yeah, absolutely. So the Physitrack is like I said it’s cloud based. So basically it’s two sides to Physitrack, so the practitioner side and the patient side. So practitioner they used Physitrack either on IOS app that we developed with Apple’s help so they can use it on their iPhone or their iPad. And they use the app to create exercise programs, they’re fully video based. And I think this is where the key element is. So Physitrack consist of around 2,200 fully narrated clinical exercise videos and they’re all recorded in high definition and also shot from different angles. So I think that the importance of video is quite simple and straight forward when you think about it, I mean first of all obviously when you educate patients on doing the exercise correctly, it’s great to do in the clinic and of course that happens. But as soon as the patient go home it’s really hard to remember, when they were listening to all the instruction during their consultation on how to perform the exercise correctly. So that’s why we used purely videos to basically instill that correct exercise technique with the patient. And of course the fact that we shoot the exercise from different angle it also helps the patient to understand the right techniques. Now if you think about that in the end if you look at Australia for example more than 80% of Australians have a smartphone in their pocket, so you can imagine patient going to a healthcare practitioner to pay in some cases $70, $80, $90 for consultation, they expect the services that as possible relevant to how they live their lives nowadays which obviously is increasingly mobile app based and interactive as well. So that’s basically what the patient receives from the practitioners. So basically a video based exercise program that the patient then completes on a patient app called “PhysiApp” and it’s yeah it’s really intuitive. It’s free to download for patient on IOS, android or through their browser. And then the patient basically follows on each day their supposed to complete their exercises and follow their prescribed exercises, they watch the videos to have a clear reference. And after each exercise the patient kicks off how many sets and reps or kilograms they basically completed, also indicate what their pain or their bit of the level was of the exercise they completed. And they can leave feedback for their practitioner well. So it’s really about I suppose creating that transparency and feedback loop between the patient and the practitioner. And then also with some building remembers for the patient to obviously keep them on track with their program as well.
W: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and my guest today is Marijn Kortekaas, who is the Partner in Program Director Asia Pacific for Physitrack. And we’ve been talking about Physitrack which is a device used by physiologists, osteopaths, chiropractics and physiotherapists, that presents an exercise program in an audio visual format over the internet on a tablet, iPhone or browser. Interestingly this is I guess one of those success stories where technology has entered the health world relatively seamlessly in with great success. Marijn what do you think has been the key to getting this adopted by so many practitioners and so many patients?
M: Good question. Yeah, so basically for obviously patients nowadays, again walking around with a smartphone in their pocket, they want to see progress in the way they consume basically anything in life now whether it’s healthcare or whether it’s transport. If you look at the taxi industry for example, obviously with that those video taking advantage of you know some of those elements were consumer demand was really around “I need some sort of mode of transportation right here and now. I want to see whose available and I want to be able to book something right here and then.” Same with the accommodation industry, if you look at the AIBB for example, is that it’s all about transforming some of I suppose some of the traditional industries that are around. And healthcare you know in general can be from time to time more somewhat more conservative than other industries. But at the same time practitioners also notice that while there are certain demands and expectations from the patient side on I suppose how they receive healthcare and in which format. And on the practitioner side of course technology has already improved a lot of aspects, let’s say the how the process wherein clinics, so a lot of clinics moving from paper based filling to practitioner management systems. Moving from local service to cloud based services. So obviously gaining a lot of efficiencies there, and then really saving them a lot of time, and the prescribing of exercises is obviously just a part of the overall equation for practitioners. But we really notice that the feedback from patients in general is supper positive. And some of the key things that we’ve seen is that the fact that patient adherence to their exercise just increases so much by using apps and making it really easy and really intuitive for patients to complete their exercises. In a way it’s really is a huge value add for patient to receive the services instead of a piece of paper. And obviously practitioners acknowledge they and they really see it as a great selling point for them to adopt the latest technology, and some think they come running to us in large droves.
W: Well that’s an excellent problem to have when you’re in business I think, is having patients and customers coming running to you in large droves. Marijn many of our listeners are clinicians of one kind or another mainly in acute care and in aged care, is there a message you’d like them to get today as a result of having heard you on Health Professional Radio?
M: Yeah, absolutely. It’s interesting you mention aged care I suppose. Because even the older generations are actually text savvy nowadays, and we have many 60, 70, 80 year olds that are very comfortable in using iPads and Tablets around, and they’re actually motivated a lot more to actually do the exercises by having an IPad, being able to click on the button and be able to watch the video. And of course effective is video based, it really stimulates their brains as well. So there’s a lot of aspect to it and again compared to paper, that really I supposed keeps people active, keeps people actually wanting to do their exercises. So things from that point of view I think there’s a huge win. I think on the other side if you look at acute care, we work with in terms of kind of professions I suppose, anyone from again physiotherapists, exercise physiologists but even surgeons as well. So if you look at some of those areas, hospital for example, they in terms of healthcare in general of course there’s a huge pressure on the healthcare system in terms of the cost in terms of the aging population. So how can we improve technology how can we alleviate you know some of the pressured by creating more efficient processes by getting people better quicker, by really helping in particular larger hospitals for example saves significant resources but again getting people just back on their feet lock quicker. And we have some great news and great example with hospital here in Australia but also overseas in the UK, where by using technology like Physitrack have already seen the huge speeding up of recovery, of course the fact that people can do their exercises at home, doesn’t have to come to the hospital every week for a checkup, because the practitioner can actually monitor the patient remotely. There’s some huge wins on the patient side as well so think overall it’s all about creating I suppose less waste and create an efficiency in the overall healthcare system.
W: Marijn is there a misconceptions amongst your clients, or customers, or patients that drive you nuts and keep you awake at night?
M: Misconceptions, not really. I mean sometimes people wonder whether we, I suppose think as a technology solution whether we try to replace practitioners and so patients can jump onto Physitrack, and just pick and choose some exercises – that’s not what we are. We are really an extension I suppose of the service that practitioner provide to the patient. And as you said if anything, we’re a replacement of your paper handout with a few stick figures drawn on it and really again offering patients a lot better service. And practitioners of course makes them look fantastic, because they really offer the latest technology and patients, yeah really appreciate it as well.
W: Marijn Kortekaas Partner and Program Director Asia Pacific for Physitrack, it’s been a pleasure talking with you today. Now I’m sure we would have startled some people into going well this is amazing I need to find out about this. What’s the best way for people to get more information?
M: The best way would be to visit our website so www.physiotrack.com. It’s got everything in terms of information and some good videos as well on how Physitrack works, so I’d love to see people come and visit.
W: So that website again was www.physiotrack.com. Marijn it’s been a pleasure having you with you with me, I realized you’re a busy person. Thank you very much for your time.
M: Thanks for having me Wayne. Thanks a lot, cheers.
W: If you just missed my conversation with Marijn Kortekaas of Physitrack, the good news is we have a transcript on our website. We also have an audio archive on both SoundCloud and YouTube and you can find the links to all of those things on the Health Professional Radio website at www.hpr.fm. Thank you for listening to Health Professional Radio, my name is Wayne Bucklar.