Physiopedia 2023: A year of innovation, growth and global impact

2023 has been an amazing year at Physiopedia. As a team, we have experienced great achievements that have helped us to make a significant impact and strengthen our global reach. 

From welcoming all rehabilitation professionals on our volunteer team to having a dynamic presence at the first in-person World Physiotherapy Congress since the COVID-19 pandemic, this year has seen us grow not just in numbers but also in influence and presence. Join us to celebrate our journey through 2023. It is not possible to share everything that we have achieved, but here are the key highlights that have shaped this extraordinary year.

Physiopedia 2023 our year in numbers

A strong start to the year

The year began with a message of resilience and strength from our Physiopedia co-Founder Rachael Lowe, setting the tone for our activities. We engaged in amazing partnerships and expanded our global presence through collaborations with individuals, clinics, organisations, and universities. There was a visit to Uganda to explore collaborative opportunities for rehabilitation education and practice. Every month, the volunteer content team collaborates to add new pages and review our existing pages to ensure that content is evidence-based and relevant to the global rehabilitation community. The year started with them focussing on diverse themes such as the weather and physiotherapy, infection control and prevention and research. The team also learned that our hard work in developing abstracts for the World Physiotherapy Congress in June paid off – we had nine abstracts accepted to present! We also saw the start of the Journal Club, a new group on the Communities of Practice platform to help everyone learn more about accessing, examining, and interpreting research studies. Perfect timing or coordinated organisation? Our dedication moved us up the rankings in March to 25 of the top medical-related websites in the world.

Building momentum

Things did not slow down; in fact, we were busier than ever! We continued to grow our volunteer team, welcoming new members who brought fresh insights and energy. The volunteer orientation course in April saw impressive participation, reflecting the community’s growing interest in Physiopedia. In April, the team headed off to Mexico for the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) conference. In May, the Physiopedia team even managed to find time to continue their mission of improving global health and met with professional associations in Uganda to discuss a collaboration for the provision of sustainable continuing professional development. Then in June, our impact at the World Physiotherapy Congress in Dubai was a standout moment in the year. With a host of presentations, posters, and symposiums, we demonstrated our commitment and expertise in physiotherapy, fostering connections and growing our presence in the global physiotherapy community.

Reaching new heights

As we moved into the second half of the year, we celebrated the achievements of our team with the Physiopedia Annual Awards, which recognise the outstanding contributions of individuals from our team. Well done to all those that received an award this year. Our involvement in global initiatives, such as the Rehabilitation 2030 meeting at the WHO and the newly formed World Rehabilitation Alliance, strengthened our role in shaping the future of rehabilitation. The content team continued to work on topics such as pain, occupational therapy and inflammatory arthritis and continued to resonate with the rehabilitation community, providing valuable knowledge and insights. In January, Matt, one of our volunteers, asked, “Why doesn’t everyone know about Physiopedia?”. Well, we are getting there. In August, there were over 4 million people who visited Physiopedia from all countries. Our highest number yet and over 1.5 million more than the same time last year. With artificial intelligence (AI) casting a shadow on the validity and reliability of information available online, we felt confident in our strong team of therapists from around the world working together to ensure the knowledge we share is trustworthy, focused, and relevant. In September we took online learning to new heights with our clinical skills development training in Burma and Uganda. Therapists from Burma with a hands-on session supported by remote mentorship, whilst over in Uganda the hybrid learning experience looked at improving care for patients following stroke. Our resources are and will continue to provide people-powered content created by therapists who understand the complexities of healthcare and rehabilitation. September saw the start of this year’s MOOC on Basic Rehabilitation Techniques!

Ending on a high note

In the final part of the year, things did not slow down. The team continued to work hard and show commitment to Physiopedia’s mission “to improve global health through universal access to rehabilitation knowledge”. Still, so many achievements to mention. Congratulations to the team for the publication of research on “Common themes in core competencies support interprofessional working in rehabilitation services”. We continue to deliver hands-on skills training to enhance interdisciplinary practice. In October, we concluded our 3 month Skills Training Programme in Pakistan covering all aspects of spinal cord injury (SCI) management. After the success of the clinical skills development session on paediatrics, we were in Burma again, this time for a training session on Stroke. Then our final conference of the year with a trip to Texas for the annual Texas Physical Therapy Association (APTA) conference. We ended the year by reaching a new milestone with the largest number of volunteers joining us from the November orientation course, adding to those who joined earlier in the year. We are now a team of 77 volunteers. We closed the year with a strong volunteer community, ready to take on new challenges and opportunities in 2024.

Final thoughts looking forward to 2024

Reflecting on 2023, we’re filled with pride for what we’ve achieved together. Physiopedia has not only expanded its reach and content but has also significantly contributed to the advancement of rehabilitation knowledge globally. Our journey this year sets the stage for even greater accomplishments in 2024.

To every volunteer, partner, and user who has been part of this incredible team journey, thank you. Together, we’ll continue to innovate, educate, and inspire in the world of rehabilitation.