Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tech Tools and Apps for Stroke Survivors

May is the month for stroke awareness across the United States, an important time for all stroke survivors and concerned parties. The tech world has not been left behind in this important period through special tools and apps ideal for stroke survivors. Stroke survivors are found in different areas, such as Beau Biden, the Vice President’s son, famous actor Kirk Douglas, Dick Clark and Tedy Bruschi, a linebacker with the New England Patriots who suffered a stroke exactly ten days after a Super Bowl triumph. At that time, Bruschi was only 31 years of age and very fit and thought strokes only affect the elderly. However, the reality as he came to realize, is that anyone can get it. 

The realm of healthcare technology has not left stroke survivors without a way out. One of these beautiful tech tools is an app that works on different smartphones and ideal for all with stroke issues. This new app is vSOS, activated by pressing its icon on a smartphone and calls just to see if you require any help. In case there is no answer, it has the ability to know the location of the victim via GPS technology, sending emergency aid. It was develop by Jay Elliot, an author and the founder of Nuvel. The most important part of the vSOS app is that people with stroke and living alone or single are covered by its huge number of applications. 

Another iPad app that comes handy for stroke victims as well as autistic kids is AutoVerbal, allowing patients devoid of speech to communicate. For Autism cases, Grace App comes handy for easier communication via pictures, the main reason why it was awarded the World Summit Award for Mobile applications. Special needs children, autistic mostly, are able to communicate effectively through sentence building using images relevant to them.  

Doctot Stroke is another suite widely in use to administer assessment scales clinically related to victims of stroke. The tool gives medical practitioners a very efficient and easy to use tech development to measure stroke survivors’ crucial functions. Every assessment scale comes in wizard format to allow the user to navigate with ease across the components of interview and to record the survivor’s status.  The scale total is automatically generated by the tool. Through the input of the user, the score is categorized. Each scale comes with a section for more information in case a user wants more details. There is a help section as well for better usage of the stroke assessment tool. 

Apps are increasingly becoming the new trend in the health industry and many users agree. 90 percent of those using mobile health apps, according to CHIC (Consumer Health Information Corporation), use apps to retrieve information adequately. According to the study, people are not turning to the Smartphone apps because they are trendy and innovative, but after convenience and simplicity in carrying out tasks related to health, while others do it for feedback reasons. 

According to CHIC, users are after apps that would go beyond tracking and managing their health but also have the ability to analyze information while giving feedback.

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