Physiquipe: Inside the physio room of the future
Tucked away inside a tennis club in the leafy Manchester suburb of Didsbury, Physiquipe looks like Victor Frankenstein’s laboratory – if he had been a physio.
But, from a room stuffed with weird and wonderful contraptions, the firm represents the cutting edge of physical rehabilitation, rather than gruesome reanimation.
BusinessCloud's Ian Hughes was shown around by Andy Thomas, who founded Physiquipe in 2012 with the goal of raising healthcare standards.
It has since been visited by British Olympians and dreadlocked cult tennis hero Dustin Brown.
Andy said: “Physiquipe brings together the best technological equipment for physical assessment and rehabilitation from around the world.
“We offer this through our equipment solutions, rehabilitation clinics and training academy.
“Our goal is to deliver the best clinical solutions to enhance objectivity and outcomes, which have a real impact for both patient and clinician.”
Stuffed with strange-looking devices and apparatus, the room in South Manchester sits at the forefront of innovation in physiotherapy.
Most obvious of those is the AlterG P200, an anti-gravity treadmill, which allows partial weight bearing down to 20 per cent in 1 per cent increments.
Used by most Premier League teams, the machine – in simple terms – inflates around the runner, or patient, to ‘raise and lower’ their body weight.
You can see Andy give a full demonstration in the video above.
Andy and Mary of Physiquipe
Elsewhere is the BTE PrimusRS, a functional dynamometer which allows its user to reproduce real life movements (eg swinging a bat, throwing a ball) as well as isolated muscle testing. This piece of apparatus is used by the US Olympic team, Sports Institute Northern Ireland and several NHS universities.
Looking like an electric chair, the BTE Multi Cervical Unit is used for assessment, rehabilitation and training for the cervical spine.
Its unique system gives objective data for strength for the neck, and is used by the RAF, Formula One teams and NFL players.
But the physio room does not begin and end with sports stars.
The BTE Multi Cervical Unit
PhysioTouch is a negative pressure system which has very good effect on scars, lymphatics and fascia – it performs especially well in lymphoedema clinics, and following cosmetic or orthopaedic surgery.
This is one of the few devices, Andy explained, that has been sold for use outside a clinic, and in a home.
“There’s a big push to not having people come into hospitals now, and they want to be doing home-based solutions,” he said.
“We sold one to the parents of a young girl in Northern Ireland – they’ve been using it for a couple of years, and had some dramatic results.
The BTE PrimusRS, a functional dynamometer, on the left
“It’s a four-year-old girl who has got primary lymphedema, and it’s been amazing seeing the benefits of that.
“People have come in to use our facility here, or have been referred into us, but the case is with everything is that they’ve got to be medically trained.
“We had two people from here buy the PhysioTouch, who both happened to be doctors.
Andy shows BusinessCloud around Physiquipe
“So we’ve got confidence they know what they’re doing. Because you can move a lot of fluid with this, you certainly don’t want to be selling to anyone who is just doing their own treatments on it.
“All of this stuff is great, but it’s got to be used on by the right people on the right patients. And they’ve got to know how they’re doing it and why they’re doing it.
“It’s a waste of time if you’ve not got the right people using it.”