Future of physiotherapy practice a focus of NEXT 2018

2 October 2018 - for immediate release


Top business minds, leading clinicians and strategic innovators will converge on Hobart’s waterfront this week as part of the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s (APA) NEXT conference, aimed at the profession’s business, education and practice leaders.

Among the 30+ sessions presented across the program are three innovative, consumer-centred programs led by physiotherapists.

Engaging older adults in the development of exercise tools (Friday 5 October, 2.15 – 3.00pm) will review the journey of APA physiotherapist Meg Lowry as she ‘accidentally’ turned a therapeutic exercise program into a popular app for aged care physios to incorporate into their falls prevention programs for the elderly. The Clock Yourself app uses a range of simultaneous multi directional stepping, cognitive and balance challenges to appeal to older adults. A surprising unintended consequence of Clock Yourself has been its use as a reaction time tool and agility drill by sports physios for their clients.

Physiotherapist Karen Finnin is one of the leading innovators in physiotherapy telehealth consultations in Australia, and she says “It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room”. Physiotherapists are well known for their manual therapy techniques, but increasingly they are using digital techniques to support optimum patient health outcomes.

Resulting from increasing consumer demand for remote health consultations, advances in digital technology and physiotherapy expertise in exercise prescription and digital health apps, telehealth has seen a boom in its usage over the past few years. Karen’s session Is telehealth revolutionising or destroying the physiotherapy profession? (Saturday 6 October, 2.45 – 3.30pm) will discuss the ‘how to’ of taking physiotherapy practice into the online world.

Home rehab may well be the next frontier in patient centred care following joint replacement surgery. Medibank’s head of health innovation and physiotherapist Anna Barker will discuss an innovative trial conducted by physiotherapists across Australia in conjunction with Medibank in which 182 patients aged 60 and older - half of whom had knee replacement surgery - were sent home for their post-operative rehab and care. The results will be discussed in The future of rehab is here (Sunday 7 October, 11.20 – 12.05pm) and not surprisingly, patients found the at-home rehab beneficial and much more convenient.

What:      NEXT 2018 Physiotherapy Conference
When:      Friday 5 October – Sunday 7 October
Where:      Hobart Exhibition and Conference Centre
     Hotel Grand Chancellor
     1 Davey St Hobart



Meg Lowry, Karen Finnin and Anna Barker are available for further comment or interview.

The full NEXT conference program can be viewed here.

For further information, please contact: Julie Dwyer, Communications Manager
M 0419 176 075  E Julie.Dwyer@physiotherapy.asn.au