International Physiotherapy: what is it and who are the addressees?

This course aims to teach students the different aspects of Physiotherapy (evaluation, diagnosis, design and development of treatments) while mastering a third foreign language and taking advantage of the synergy between Escola Universitària de la Salut i l’Esport—a centre affiliated with the University of Girona (from now on referred to with the acronym EUSES-UdG)—and Escola de Noves Tecnologies Interactives—a centre affiliated with the University of Barcelona (from now on referred to with the acronym ENTI-UB)—to work on cross-sectoral competences of academic excellence and curricular integration of the new technologies into the field of Physiotherapy.

The involvement of ENTI-UB in the Bachelor’s Degree in Physiotherapy will allow the students to nourish themselves with the experience that a pioneer university course in new technologies can contribute: developing tools of physiotherapeutic evaluation, applying new technological advances in the field of Physiotherapy, and even the possibility to work in the creation of new technological applications (mobile apps, computer software or three-dimensional modelling) in the field of Physiotherapy.

Nowadays, new technologies are gradually increasing their presence in all scopes of our society and especially in the field of Physiotherapy.

The physiotherapist has gone from using purely manual treatments to applying all those technological resources that were made available to them, obtaining an increase in the efficiency of diagnosis in Physiotherapy as well as their therapeutic output and the adherence of the patient to the treatment.

A number of devices are usually found in Physiotherapeutic centres—such as electromyographs, biomechanical sensors, force plates, instrumented treadmills, pressure measurement platforms, pressure insoles, movement captures, systems of cardiopulmonary analysis, movement capture based on optical technology, thermography, etc.

However, not only technology that is strictly medical has been included but a synergy between different fields of the new technologies, for instance, sharing resources with architecture (three dimensional studies of reconstruction using laser technology that have enabled us to treat pathologies associated to the deviation of the spinal column, such as scoliosis), virtual games (the use of the Wii Fit Board “Wii console video game board”, which has changed the perception of the propioception in joint injures in ankles and knees while developing more comfortable treatments for the patients and creating more adherence and thus more assiduity and a better result), and a long etcetera.

Therefore, the symbiosis between EUSES and ENTI is a natural and logic union considering that by adding both branches of knowledge students are granted a plus not only for their learning experience but also in the use and creation of new resources for Physiotherapy. Therefore, the perspectives of their professional career are widen not solely in the health field but in the creation and thought of globalism within their  academic career and future, learning that any conception can be improved from a multidisciplinary way of thinking.

The EUSES – ENTI will not become a mere user of new technologies but rather have an in-depth knowledge of them and will have the capacity to know where to resort to when creating those technological elements that are essential to their development and professional specialization.

If the future graduate from EUSES – ENTI is seen as a professional with an international nature and on top of it we add the knowledge of new technologies within their studies—which is not included in any university school of Physiotherapy from the point of view that we offer it—, we are faced with a new professional who will add value to the care service but at the same time will be a creator of new resources.

The courses are taught exclusively in English, such a dominant language that knowing it is not only a need in nowadays society but a basic competence to have access to the scientific production and to get an optimal professional level.