4 Best TED Talks for Physical Therapy Practices

Get inspired! Explore the 4 best TED Talks for physical therapy enthusiasts. Learn, innovate, and transform your practice today

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Four Best TED Talks for Physical Therapy Practices

Do you belong to the 81% of healthcare professionals who turn to health-related websites for continuing education, community support, or clinical advice? If so, you’ve likely stumbled on quite a few TED Talks about physical therapy by now. After all, upwards of 2,300 TED Talks have already racked up more than 41 million total views and 5.89 million ratings each.

At this point, it’s nearly impossible to visit a social media platform or healthcare career development website without scrolling past a TED Talk video. For therapists and private practice owners, TED Talks on physical therapy can be a key source of inspiration and knowledge on expanding clinic operations and enhancing therapist-patient relationships.  

Main Takeaways From This Article:

  • TED Talks have been a source of inspiration for various business leaders, team managers, and self-starters for nearly two decades.
  • TED Talks for physical therapy have become increasingly popular among practitioners seeking insights for a successful, scalable business.
  • Top physical therapy TED Talks include motivational seminars from TED Fellows Cosmin Mihaiu, Ed Deci, Stan Phelps, and Eric Dishman.

TED Talks & Physical Therapy

Originally short for ‘Technology, Entertainment, and Design,’ TED was launched in 1984 as a one-off conference. By 1990, the TED Conference became an annual event, bringing in an impressive roster of business leaders, scientists, and researchers. Conference seminars were rebranded as TED Talks in 2007, with the TED Fellows, TED Translator, and TEDx Talk programs to follow soon.

Since then, TED Talks have become an authority in thought-provoking ideas and innovative business outlooks that can broaden listeners’ perspectives. TED Talks for physical therapy, in particular, have emerged as research-backed roadmaps for practitioners to enhance treatment strategies, improve patient care, and, ultimately, scale operations through advancements in physical therapy.

4 Most Valuable TED Talks for Physical Therapists

TED Talks are rich in ideas for how practitioners can enhance their operations, whether it’s proven means for boosting patient satisfaction and retention or trusted tips for improving company culture and patient care. Take a look at the four most valuable TED Talks for physical therapists, including the main takeaways you can apply to your practice immediately after watching.

1. Cosmin Mihaiu: Physical Therapy is Boring — Play a Game Instead

TED Fellow Cosmin Mihaiu is the co-founder and CEO of MIRA Rehab, a medical device that uses motion-tracking sensors to gamify physical therapy movement. He’s also behind the “Physical Therapy is Boring — Play a Game Instead” TED Talk, which has amassed more than 15,000 yearly views since the video was first published in May 2015.

In the nearly six-minute video, Cosmin explains how leveraging gamification for rehab therapy can increase patient compliance and improve care outcomes for assigned home exercises. Rather than a confusing repetitive exercise, a therapeutic movement is transformed into an interactive video game that patients truly enjoy, boosting patient satisfaction.

As Cosmin explains, “All physical therapists agree that special exercises reduce the time needed for recovery, but patients lack the motivation to do them.” With patient noncompliance as high as 70%, physical therapists should consider a patient-centric, feature-rich home exercise program to promote adherence through fun games and activities.

2. Ed Deci: Promoting Motivation, Health, and Excellence

Up next in inspiring TED Talks for physical therapy is “Promoting Motivation, Health, and Excellence” by Ed Deci, a psychology professor at the University of Rochester and co-founder of the Self-Determination Theory (SDT). Over the course of 14 minutes, Ed breaks down the SDT theory into two types of motivation: control and autonomous motivation.

Controlled motivation stems from feelings of coercion or incentives like a reward, which causes a person to take the shortest path to a desired outcome. Autonomous motivation is driven by interest, enjoyment, and personal beliefs. While these concepts aren’t directed at PTs, they define what drives patient adherence as well as increases patient retention.

“When doctors are autonomy supportive, their patients live healthier lives … and they exercise on a more regular basis,” Ed explains. To become more autonomy-supportive—and motivate patients to complete their course of treatment—Ed suggests PTs consider the patient’s perspective, empathize with them, and involve them in the decision-making process for care.

3. Stan Phelps: Rethinking Business with the Power of G.L.U.E

If you’ve ever wondered how to make every patient interaction truly special, tune in to the “Rethinking Business with the Power of G.L.U.E” TED Talk by Stan Phelps. An Instructor for the ANA School of Marketing and Rutgers Business School, Stan Phelps is also a long-time Forbes Contributor, TEDx Speaker, and the author behind the best-selling Goldfish Series.

Stan’s message is simple: Businesses must focus on meaningful differentiation to earn repeat customers and, in the case of physical therapy practices, to also earn physician referrals. The suggested solution is “GLUE” or “Giving Little Unexpected Extras” to exceed business expectations. In other words, doing the little things can make a big difference for your business.

Throughout this informative TED Talk for physical therapy practice owners, Stan references numerous examples of organizations across industries that relied on “unexpected extras” to gain lifelong customers. For successful therapists, GLUE can take the shape of implementing patient engagement tactics and closely monitoring outcomes with ongoing communication.

4. Eric Dishman: Health Care Should Be a Team Sport

One of the most poignant TED Talks for physical therapists is “Health Care Should Be a Team Sport” by Eric Dishman. Eric is an Intel Fellow and the general manager of Intel’s Health Strategy & Solutions Group, responsible for driving global healthcare research and health policy. He was also given just two to three years to live while a sophomore in college.

Of course, Eric defied his original diagnosis—but the entire experience made him more aware of how medical teams operate. He quickly learned the importance of patient-centric care, or what he refers to as “personal health.” According to Eric, the three pillars of personal care are “care anywhere, care networking, and care customization.”

Fortunately, there is an array of medical technology that empowers modern PTs to take a team approach to patient-centric care. For instance, physical therapy telehealth software allows PTs to work directly with patients no matter where they’re located, and a patient portal enables PTs to offer online scheduling and messaging in just a few clicks.

The Bottom Line: Applying TED Talk Insights to Your Practice

Physical therapy TED Talks provide a solid foundation for practitioners and practice owners to build profitable, patient-centric clinics. With insights gleaned from the above four TED Talks for physical therapists, you can not only enhance treatment effectiveness and patient satisfaction but also drive a more outcomes-focused, optimistic clinic culture.

As you craft more compassionate care, explore MWTherapy’s suite of software to streamline your operations and support the patient journey. Whether it’s injury rehabilitation, pain management, or strength training, MWTherapy makes a therapist’s job much easier with trusted solutions for scheduling, billing, practice management, and more.

Schedule a demo today to learn how MWTherapy can elevate your physical therapy practice.

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