Smartwatches in rehabilitation (Part 1)


Unite Professionals case managers work with a holistic team to provide rehabilitation to people who have suffered serious injuries. We aim to employ the most modern, effective technology and methods to ensure that we can get them back to the best possible standard of living.

We work alongside personal trainers and physiotherapists to aide in the rehabilitation of our clients. One particular personal trainer, Craig Barker, has been embracing the use of smartwatches to make sure the clients’ rehabilitation programmes are on track. This has been exceedingly helpful during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Craig works with physios providing rehab for people who have suffered neurological brain injuries, for example in a car accident or following a stroke. He has been using the data from his clients’ smartwatches and/or fitness trackers to monitor their activity levels, sleep habits, heartrate, nutrition and more. This helps motivate them to stick to a rehabilitation schedule and to keep them accountable in their health journey.

Exercise routines and other habits can be quite subjective and especially with remote physiotherapy, it can be too simple to bend the truth. By using smartwatch data, personal trainers can build a bigger picture and understand more metrics, for example the exact amount of aerobic activity and resting heart rate trends over time.

Craig works with our team of case managers and occupational therapists to build a plan and make sure adequate progress is made. The use of the smartwatch data helps the whole rehab team to work together to ensure our clients are on track. It makes the results more objective and factual and can even help in terms of insurance.

“All of our clients will have given their consent for their personal data to be used and monitored prior to implementation of work with smart devices,” said Craig.

“The use of smartwatches motivates my clients and it’s so positive to see their progress and steps increasing. I also utilise an app that can link the smartwatch programme to the application to allow myself, and my client, access to steps, heart rate, activity levels, nutrition, training plans etc in real time, so we’ve found that this is a really holistic approach.”