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  • Humans in Healthcare #45: The Importance of Clinical Expertise in Digital Health Products

Humans in Healthcare #45: The Importance of Clinical Expertise in Digital Health Products

Read how Augment Therapy is using clinical expertise to drive product innovation

As part of my clinician creator series, I’m thrilled to highlight Augment Therapy and the clinical team that functions in creative non-clinical roles that use the full extent of their lived clinical experiences.

How Augment Therapy uses the lived experience of the clinician to drive innovation

Augment Therapy is a digital health company that creates products like AR rehabilitation exercises to make clinicians’ jobs easier while making physical and occupational therapy more engaging for the patient.

I’ve talked about how we should be creating better experiences for both parties in healthcare — the clinician and the patient. One should not be secondary to the other, they both matter significantly for the sustainability of our system, yet the clinical experience is not well understood or often prescribed to a clinician without the actual input of a clinician. Augment Therapy understands this deeply given it was birthed out of the collective lived experience of PTs and OT’s as they struggled to engage with their patients in a way that honored both their needs and the patient’s needs.

Clinicians are uniquely qualified to identify pain points in the system of healthcare as well as function as supplemental advocates of the patient's voice. Augment Therapy’s product ARWell PRO was created from this unique vantage point, through the combination of PT and OT lived experience, clinical research, customer feedback, and product testing. This combination informed the product development based on the following principles:

  • Make exercise fun 

  • Make physical and occupational therapy more engaging for the patient 

  • Increase flexibility for patient and therapist with telehealth 

  • Automatic data collection so you can be more engaged and involved in your session 

  • Engage clients at home with our home exercise programs, and watch your clients make progress with remote monitoring 

  • Save time on documentation with automatic note generation 

  • Back up our claims with clinical research: prove our products’ effectiveness 

  • Help therapists save time planning sessions with 50+ gamified exercises 

  • Be accessible for clinicians on the devices they already use, such as Windows and Mac devices 

  • Make exercise gaming more equitable for patients and therapists: no expensive wearables are needed 

Clinician feedback as a cornerstone of product innovation

Solutions in health tech that involve clinicians or where clinicians are an end user need to have fundamental essentials:

  • Insert seamlessly into their workflow

  • Provide real value (not theoretical value)

  • Solve a true problem not provide a solution looking for a problem

Augment Therapy incorporated clinician feedback as a cornerstone of their product innovation process for the ARWell PRO. Below is a short list of some of the changes made in their development process based on clinician feedback: 

  • Added, and continue to modify the auto-generated notes feature 

  • Created guided tours to help with ease of first use 

  • Added a set of ortho exercises for home care and bed mobility 

  • Added, and continued to brainstorm multi-player and group game options 

Using clinicians in non-clinical roles

Lastly, Augment Therapy is a company that speaks to the humanity of clinicians yearning to grow beyond their clinical expertise. They prioritize employing healthcare workers in non-clinical positions such as customer success and product management.

From Augment Therapy’s perspective, health professionals have unique skills that are necessary for product development in digital health and digital healthcare technology including:

  • Experience with different abilities, bodies, ages, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds 

  • Task Modification 

  • Task Scaffolding 

  • Accessibility and Universal Design 

  • Lived experience of the pain points in clinical practice 

  • Creation of educational content 

  • Building and nurturing customer relationships 

  • Ability to read and understand research and data 

Their purpose is to humanize the people on their team, inspire clinicians who are seeking a non-clinical path to keep trying and show it is possible to use your clinical skills in a non-clinical setting (therefore, not wasting your money or time on your degree).

Meet the Augment Therapy team!

Meet Lindsay Watson

Lindsay Watson, CEO and Co-Founder

Lindsay is the CEO and Co-founder of Augment Therapy. With over 20 years of experience as a Physical Therapist, Lindsay has worked in a variety of therapy settings including school-based therapy and outpatient orthopedics.   

Lindsay began Augment Therapy initially as a side hustle while continuing to work clinically. She never intended to leave clinical work, per se, but to create technology that truly supported clinicians in their daily work.  Her current role is the ultimate “augmentative” position for a reluctant entrepreneur who just wanted to support her profession.   

As far as her career transition, she notes it’s been a long journey getting to the point of CEO and Co-Founder.  She spent countless hours reading business books, found business mentors, and has been coached by her technology team.  She can now speak these “languages” with some fluency and says it’s been an amazing learning process acquiring these new skills.   

Outside of work, Lindsay loves to read and cook for her family. Her favorite Favorite ARWell PRO exercise is the Puddle Jumper for the water effect on the ground and the cooky frog! 

Meet Amy Pratt

Amy Pratt, Director of Customer Success

Amy is the Director of Clinical Success at Augment Therapy. She has over 20 years of experience as a Physical Therapist, mostly school-based, with experience in exercise physiology, neuro rehab, and home health. 

Amy loved being a PT, but felt called to do more. Amy began teaching at pediatric therapy conferences and lecturing for DPT and PTA programs, got certified as an Animal Assisted Therapy Team with her dog, and picked up some contract work for pediatric complex cases in home care. When Lindsey asked Amy to test her new app, she found that her home patients loved it. She naturally grew into a training and customer support role with Augment Therapy, citing her love for traveling, meeting therapists in a variety of settings, and showing them innovative ways to engage patients.

As for how she got to this non-clinical point, she says she is still learning! She still provides direct patient care part-time to help her understand their product’s real-life application and continue to build trust and feedback from her clinician end users.

Outside of work, Amy enjoys reading, running, and dreaming of vacationing. Her favorite ARWell PRO Exercise is the rocket launcher as she loves how it motivates patients to stand on one foot for the satisfaction of launching the rocket.

Meet Elise Baron

Elise Baron, Director of Research

Elise received her PhD in biomedical engineering, with a focus in biomechanics. She began her non-clinical transition focused on industry due to a desire for more creativity, citing that industry research is exciting, especially in the start-up space, as it allows for greater freedom and creative approaches to researching innovation.

She joined Augment Therapy serendipitously. After expanding her research experience with a postdoc position, an unexpected network connection led her to Augment.

Outside of work, Elise enjoys interior design, crafting, and skiing — and in fact her favorite ARWell PRO exercise is skiing.

Danielle Barbieri, Associate Clinical PM

Danielle is an occupational therapist who has primarily worked in pediatric settings for 5 years.  

Flexibility, workplace culture, and a desire to drive innovation from the outside in is what led Danielle to seek opportunities outside of clinical care.  

To help set her up for success, Danielle engaged in coaching programs such as Collective Coaching, self-education courses through Udemy and Aspireship, networking events, and direct referrals through the coaching programs and networking.

Outside of work, Danielle enjoys roller skating, exercising, and finding unique cafes. Her favorite ARWell PRO exercise is air writing.

Learn more about Augment Therapy here or follow on LinkedIn


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