News

12 May
2020

Apps for Brain Injury - NHS recommended top 5 Brain Injury apps from award winning therapists.

Apps can be a useful tool as part of your rehabilitation following a Brain Injury. Are you using the right ones?

Having a Brain injury whether or Acquired or Traumatic can be a life changing event. Rehabilitation is often a process that happens over a prolonged period of time. It can be taxing for both the patient and their loved ones. NHS rehabilitation is great but obviously doesn't last forever. When that happens it is important that you know how to self manage your rehabilitation and have the skills to continue your recovery.


For more information and resources on living with Brain Injury and rehabilitation services available post NHS check out the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust who we are proud to say have collaborated with us in creating our apps database for Brain Injury and Headway. Both these leading Brain Injury charities have excellent knowledge and insight into the resources available.

Living with a Brain Injury can take some time to adjust to and health apps are one of the things available that can make that process more manageable. Smart phones and tablets are now part of everyday modern day life. Health apps can be a great way to incorporate your exercises, rehabilitation and management of your Brain Injury, into your modern busy life.

Using the right app is key to success.

There are millions of apps out there. Some are great and have been created to help people. Some are there to gather personal information about you which they can then sell and some are just not good at what they do. Before using a health app it is important to ensure they are safe, trustworthy and reliable apps.

Our NHS therapists are often asked by patients and family members following a Brain Injury

"are there any apps that can help with my rehab?"

Our NHS specialists have now tested thousands of apps. We know what works and what doesn't. We have spend years working with mhealth and technology specialists and combining our clinical knowledge with their technology know how. This makes us truly unique. We test all apps objectively using our 50 point testing measure across our national network of NHS clinicians.

Our therapy team is made up of Physiotherapists, Speech and Language therapists, Occupational Therapists, our rehab support workers and of course our expert patients. Our NHS therapists work everyday with patients across Brain Injury, Stroke, Neurology, MS, Parkinsons, Occupational Health, Vocational Rehabilitation and more. This is in the hospital, outpatients and out in the community. We are proud to have a large network of testers with Acpin and multiple universities affiliated.


To find the right app for you following a Brain Injury

There are a few places you can look for approved and safe health apps:

www.my-therappy.co.uk - NHS clinicians and technology experts review health apps.

https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/ - health apps reviewed and recommended by the NHS digital health team

https://www.orcha.co.uk/ - health apps reviewed and recommended by a comprehensive testing team with health knowledge

There are also a few tips for finding your own:

Always use apps found on reliable app stores e.g. play store

Always check how many download of the app their have been, if its in the thousands this is better

Read the reviews on the app store before recommending an app

Research the maker of the app. This should help tell you why they have made the app.

If an app is free they may be after your data. Check what data is being collected.


You can find all of our health app recommendations at

www.my-therappy.co.uk

As a quick guide we are sharing our 5 top 5's. Our top 5 recommended apps for Stroke, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Brain Injury. You can find them all at https://www.my-therappy.co.uk/news.

These are our:

Best Apps for Brain Injury Apps patients, as tried and tested by the NHS.


CanPlan

CanPlan is an app aimed at helping people plan out tasks in easy and reliable way. Traditionally this therapy technique is similar to that of back ward chaining.

CanPlan is made by the CanAssist team at the University of Victoria in Canada. This team have a history of making technology products to help people with a variety of medical conditions and have made bespoke products for individual clients.

What they say "CanPlan promotes independence and builds confidence by helping people with cognitive challenges complete tasks successfully. Virtually any activity can be broken into a sequence of easy-to-follow steps, illustrated by photos and reinforced with optional text and audio. Scheduling and reminder features ensure each task gets done on time".

Our therapists help patients and their carers set up CanPlan with commonly completed tasks that they have difficulty sequencing. This gives them more independence and decreases the amount of prompting required. Allows for bespoke program with pictures and audio. Supporting functional rehabilitation for cognitively impaired people.

Get CanPlan

Available on: Apple

Price: Free

Our rating: 4 Star


MediSafe

MediSafe is a medication reminder system.

It is made by the MediSafe who started their journey following a personal experience within their family of someone accidentially taking the wrong medicine. They have made this product with that in mind to help people prevent these accidents.

What they say "With a few simple steps, you can add a medication, get reminders for taking pills, and receive constant tracking of your health progress.


Add your family member’s medications or have a caregiver manage your meds as prescribed.

FREE Features:
Intuitive visual interface with easy-to-use medication reminder
Track measurements - such as blood pressure, weight - to make sure you’re in great health
Choose your medication reminder sound
Receive refill reminders so you can restock your meds
Manage all types of meds, whether they are “as needed”, daily or periodical medications
Medication progress reports that you can send to a doctor or nurse
Get reminders on your Android Wear smartwatch".

See how it works: Watch these Medisafe Android how-to videos:
https://youtu.be/FS3z4Adnf-

Evidence:

Whilst using app a small improvement in adherence to blood pressure medication was found (Morawski et al., 2018 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedic...)

MyTherappy Review:-

Version tested: 8.28.07039

Pros: Once set up fairly easy to use, option to alert a carer, friend if medication not taken. Useful reminders for when to reorder medication if running low. Informative videos provided for specific medications.

Cons: data not encrypted, takes a little bit of time initially to set up

Proloquo2Go

This app is made by the team at Assistive Ware who are experts in producing products to assist communication especially for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

What they say - "Tap images. Type words. Speak. Proloquo2Go is an easy to use communication app for people who cannot speak or need help being understood. Featuring natural sounding voices, including real children’s voices, Proloquo2Go is a simple yet powerful AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) tool. The app is fully customisable and can be utilised to build language skills and grow with a person’s communication, supporting both beginning and advanced communicators.

Parents, therapists, teachers and users around the world recognise Proloquo2Go as the gold standard in AAC solutions. The app is used by people with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Angelman syndrome, and others with speech difficulties. The app is available in English, Spanish, French, and Dutch and supports bilingual use, so you can switch languages on the fly".

Mytherappy Review: This app is simple and works really well. It is an excellent tool for AAC. We have found that for some of our Brain Injury patients the AAC options available have been really expensive. This has worked just as well and is a fraction of the cost of some of the other systems available. It works best for those patients with AAC needs who are the more communicative end of the spectrum. We have also found it useful as a rehabilitation or therapy tool.

Get Proloquo2go

Available on: Apple

Star Rating: 3 Star

Price: £249.99


T2moodtracker

Changes in mood or difficulty in sustaining mood are frequently reported by people following a Brain Injury and by their loved ones. Having clear insight into your mood has also been reported as difficult for some people following a Brain Injury. Apps have been evidenced as a great way to help people monitor and track their mood, especially for young males who sometimes find more traditional talking therapies a challenge. There are a variety of great apps out their to help people monitor or manage their mood such as Headspace and Calm. We have picked this one as it is designed to help people who have been through a Traumatic experience as so many of our Brain Injury patients have. It also has a separate section just for Brain Injury.

This app is made in the USA by the Defence Health Agency connected health. With a military back ground these guys make straight forward apps for people who's health have been effected by extreme or Traumatic events. They have a couple of apps in our health apps database and our patients have always found them useful.

What they say: "Mood Tracker allows users to monitor their moods on six pre-loaded scales (anxiety, stress, depression, brain injury, post-traumatic stress, general well-being). Custom scales can also be built. Users rate their moods by swiping a small bar to the left or to the right. The ratings are displayed on graphs to help users track their moods over time. Notes can be recorded to document daily events, medication changes and treatments that may be associated with mood changes, providing accurate information to help health care providers make treatment decisions."

Our Mytherappy Review: Simple to use and effective. Great that it gives clinical feedback. Our Clinical Psychologist has found this very useful.

Get t2moodtracker

Available on: Apple and Android

Price: Free

Star Rating: 4 Star


Lumosity - Brain Training

Where would a Brain Injury rehab review be without some help on keeping the brain active and helping it to relearn. Lumosity is an app designed to keep your Brain active and aid its recovery by giving you a little mental work out every day. It is made by Lumo Labs an organisation collaborating with specialists globally to create cognitive training products.

What they say: "Lumosity’s cognitive training program is a fun, interactive way to train your brain and learn about how your mind works. Used by over 100 million people worldwide, Lumosity’s program consists of science-based games designed to exercise memory, attention, speed, flexibility and problem-solving.

Begin with a free 10-minute Fit Test to set your baseline scores and see how you compare with others your age.

  • THE APP INCLUDES
  • •40+ activities ...and counting.
  • •Challenges for memory, speed, logic, problem-solving, math, language, and more.
  • •Regularly release of new features.
  • WORKOUT MODES
  • •Carefully curated sets of games made for you.
  • •Personalized tracking of training habits and preferences to find different ways to challenge your brain.
  • DETAILED TRAINING INSIGHTS
  • •Learn your game strengths, weaknesses and cognitive patterns.
  • •Analysis of your game play to make connections to daily life.

Our Mytherappy review: There are a few great cognitive Brain Training apps out there. Lumosity is one of our favorites as they give patients the chance to trial before they commit. It allows daily practice. The information is clear and the activities are fun.

Get Lumosity

Available on: Apple and Android

Price: Free version available with then subscription to upgrade. Monthly or yearly upgrade options.

Star Rating: 4 Star