New company combines F1 technology with physiotherapy for rehabilitation

9 Sept 2010

The Gatherer Partnership, a new company that combines technology from Formula One racing with the experience of one of Britain’s most renowned research physiotherapists, aims to advance patient rehabilitation and conditioning techniques.

Created by Don Gatherer and motorsport engineering expert John Bailey, the company will develop a range of innovative products and support packages that for the first time, offer physiotherapists accurate and objective data for the management of neuromusculoskeletal conditions.

Data such as peak force and fatigue rating of voluntary muscle contraction will enable physiotherapists to assess the patient’s true condition, determine the need for surgery as well as the ability to create and administer bespoke conditioning and rehabilitation programmes.

“Physiotherapy often relies on subjective data that can affect recovery levels and times,” says Don Gatherer. “Our equipment will provide information on what the patient really can achieve and how their condition is developing over time. Extensive work undertaken with rugby players suggests we can improve recovery times too.”

To acquire such objective data, The Gatherer Partnership is incorporating electronic measurement devices that are typically found in F1 racing cars. “Using loadcells and associated telemetry will introduce previously unseen levels of accuracy, repeatability and quality data to the physiotherapy profession,” says John Bailey. “It genuinely can revolutionise the role of the physiotherapist.”

Aside from the professional sports sector where Gatherer, a former Great Britain Olympic and England rugby physio is highly regarded, The Gatherer Partnership expects its tools to be relevant to a range of applications including defence, medical, insurance and leisure industries.

“Examples include physical fitness assessments and monitoring at a gym or whether a physical injury claim was legitimate,” suggests Bailey. “Users would have access to objective data on a patient’s condition and its progression based on actual data rather than a subjective assessment. This could be very useful to the insurance industry or even for benefits agencies, for example.”


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