Will Artificial Intelligence Take My PT Job?

Lawyers are in the crosshairs.

Lawyers are especially concerned that artificial intelligence (AI) may replace up to 40% of their workforce by the end of the decade. 

But, do physical therapists need to be worried? 

Some pundits see AI as the punchline of a Shakespearean comedy (“First, kill all the lawyers”) but the reason we should analyze AI through an industry-by-industry lens is because the effects will be specific.

Apologies to attorneys, but I did need to drive home that point.

On the other hand, physical therapy is well-positioned to benefit from AI. Have you ever gotten a spinal manipulation from a robot?

Specifically, physical therapy will benefit from AI through improved detection of common conditions that today require a referral from a physician.

Fall risk screening is the primary example most physical therapists should be thinking about:

  • 1-in-4 senior citizens over the age of 65 will fall in the next 12 months. 
  • That’s 36 million Americans.
  • Every 11 seconds an older American falls down.
  • Every visit to the emergency room costs our healthcare system upwards of $14,000.

We are all aware of routine screening examinations that identify patients at risk for falls: 

  • TUG
  • Berg Balance Scale 
  • Tenetti Test.

But, these screening methods still depend on a physical therapist or physician to initiate a referral.

New, artificial intelligence tools called Computer Vision will pave the way for automation of fall risk screening and routine, population-level analysis of patients at risk for a fall in these settings:

  • 16,000 outpatient physical therapy centers in the United States. All Orthopedic caseloads should be screened for fall risk.
  • 22,000 skilled nursing facilities should have fall risk screening technology enabled to proactively treat patients by initiating a course of physical therapy.
  • All 5,000 acute care hospitals in the United States struggle with patients falling down during an inpatient stay. 

All of these institutions will benefit from fast, efficient and automatic fall risk screening technology.

VisualPT.ai is offering DPT and PTA student educational curriculum a one-hour Zoom webinar discussing artificial intelligence and fall risk detection using the CTSIB test embedded in a mobile device. 

The webinar will include:

  • CTSIB test psychometrics: prevalence, incidence and predictive power.
  • The history of the CTSIB and the SOT test.
  • Hardware versus software implementations of both tests.
  • The future of AI and Physical Therapy.

The webinar is free and will be recorded. Each webinar is live and can be customized for individual educational institutions based on the date and time of your balance and fall risk curriculum.

We see a bright future for physical therapy and for physical therapists. AI is going to be a part of this future.

Give your students every advantage and the benefit of early instruction in artificial intelligence and machine learning with the latest tools and technology coming to Physical Therapy.

What is the CTSIB?

The Clinical Test of Sensory Integration and Balance (CTSIB) was developed by Shumway-Cook in 1986 as a pen-and-paper version of the Sensory Organization Test (SOT).

The SOT is the same test but administered with a computerized force plate. The one pictured here (Bertec) costs $87,000 and takes 20 minutes to complete the CTSIB.

Note: This is NOT a screening test. It’s a good tool, though – if you have $87k.

expensive status quo CTSIB testing equipment

Several different computerized systems are available and not all cost as much as this one.

But, they all do cost at least several thousand dollars (~$5,000).

Our goal with the VisualPT.ai AI algorithm is to build an inexpensive tool that works from your smart phone or tablet.

We estimate the cost will be no more than $50 per month, per clinic.

More screening, more testing and more identification of at-risk patients means more physical therapy and more physical therapy jobs.

Oh, and by-the-way, more testing means more and better physical therapy for your patients.

“Save 5 Clicks and 5 minutes of PT note writing”

Question: Why Test Every Visit?

Answer: So you don’t have to write so many notes!

With automated test results every visit (just like blood pressure at your family physician!) you’ll have DATA for your Daily Note. Also, your

  • Progress Note,
  • Re-Evaluation and
  • Discharge Note

…will be much easier with daily data.

The CTSIB test results will print or get uploaded to your EMR automatically.

Text snippets will be automatically generated that summarize the test results that you can copy-and-paste or upload into your Daily Notes.

Can AI-generated Text Snippets be used as PT Documentation?


Examination: Includes data obtained from the history, systems review, and tests and measures.

Evaluation: Evaluation is a thought process that may not include formal documentation.

It may include documentation of the assessment of the data collected in the examination and identification of problems pertinent to patient/client management.


So, the FORM of the documentation is not set in statute (or, even in industry ‘best practice’) – which is a ‘YES’ for AI-generated text snippets.

You use the camera every day for fun and time-saving tasks – you couldn’t imagine life without your mobile phone.

Now, you won’t be able to imagine your PT job without using your HIPAA-compliant VisualPT.ai Computer Vision tool to measure your patient.

Testing is essential to diagnosis; it’s an important part of the Initial Evaluation, routine Progress Notes and the final Discharge Note.

Why don’t Physical Therapists currently test more?

  • But, testing is time-consuming.
  • Testing takes time away from treatment.
  • Patients don’t see the benefit of testing.
  • Some PTs aren’t aware that you can bill for testing.

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a tool that could, in just a few minutes, gather all your data, crunch the numbers and spit out the results for you and the patient to see?

You would have more time to treat your patient.

Below are some of the Data Validation training videos:

Training Videos

Train the AI – a stable, balanced person

Train the AI – detect trunk sway; left sidebending

Train the AI: How the AI Data Collector gives commands

Train the AI -Trunk Sway vs. Spinal Scoliosis

Train the AI – Progress from Trunk Sway to Foot Movement

Train the AI – right trunk sidebending

Train the AI – Static trunk balance

Train the AI – Healthy Test Subjects