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Technology Offers Simple Ways Of Supporting Clients' Cognitive Functions

Advances in digital, mobile and wearable technology offer simple, user friendly ways of supporting clients’ cognitive functions, that’s why they offer exciting possibilities in neuropsychology. Our choice of IT solutions to support and enhance clinical practice in neuropsychological rehabilitation:

ACE Mobile

The Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE) is one of the most popular and commonly used cognitive tests used in dementia clinics and in the assessment of other neurological disorders.

ACEmobile is the latest version of the ACE (the ACE-3) with all of the advantages that computerisation offers.

Winner: Using Technology to Improve Efficiency | HSJ Awards 2018.

http://www.acemobile.org

My Therappy

NHS specialists have tested thousands of health apps, selecting the best, to help your recovery following a Stroke or Brain Injury.

These apps have been found to aid rehabilitation for survivors, their families and clinicians following a Stroke or Brain Injury. Tried and tested by people like you.

https://www.my-therappy.co.uk/medical-condition/stroke-brain-injury

Brain in Hand

Brain in Hand is an on-demand support system that gives people access to detailed personalised support from their smartphone, putting the individual more in control of their own support. Always available, it gives easy access to reminders, notes, coping strategies and a team of trained professionals to give help when and where it’s needed.

It’s helping almost two thousand people across the UK to reduce anxiety and improve independence, reducing demand on carers and support services.

For use by Individual – Self-pay or grant-funded; For Schools, Colleges and Universities; For Local Authorities, NHS, Providers and Employers.

http://braininhand.co.uk

Assistive Technology

A blog curated by Dr Andrew Bateman with an emphasis on assistive technology in neuro-rehabilitation.

https://www.scoop.it/t/assistive-technology-by-andrew-bateman

Neuropsychology Hub

A blog curated by Dr Giulia Bellesi and offering a review of available smartphone apps which have potential benefits in supporting people with neuropsychological difficulties. Featured in The Neuropsychologist, Issue 6 – October 2018, The British Psychological Society, Division of Neuropsychology publication.

https://neuropsychologyhub.wordpress.com

CogSmart

http://www.cogsmart.com

CogSMART stands for Cognitive Symptom Management and Rehabilitation Therapy, a form of cognitive training to help people improve their skills in prospective memory (remembering to do things), attention, learning/memory, and executive functioning (problem-solving, planning, organization, and cognitive flexibility). Developer’s hope is that improving these abilities will help people with cognitive symptoms or impairments perform better in their everyday activities and reach their goals pertaining to school, work, social functioning, and independent living. Clients are asked to keep these goals in mind as they learn and apply their new skills, so they remain motivated to practice their skills and make progress toward their goals.

The CogSMART approach to cognitive training has been successful for people with psychiatric symptoms, brain injuries, and other brain-related conditions resulting in cognitive challenges. CogSMART uses compensatory cognitive training, rather than extensive drills and practice. In other words, people are taught how to improve their cognitive skills by using strategies, have them practice their strategy use in the real world, and then troubleshoot any difficulties that come up. Developer’s goal is to help make these strategies become habits, so they can be used automatically when they are needed in the real world.

For the past decade, the CogSMART intervention has been used by therapists with individual clients and groups or classes. It is now offered as a web-based and mobile CogSMART app that can be used with or without the guidance of a clinician.

Developed by: Elizabeth W Twamley, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry | University of California San Diego
Director, Clinical Research Unit | Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health | VA San Diego Healthcare System

CogSmart has been shown to make significant reductions over all time points in post-concussive symptoms and improvements in prospective memory and quality of life in individuals with mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries (outcome assessments at baseline and 3, 6, and 12 months) – J Head Trauma Rehab, 2015, vol 30, No6, pp 391-401.

Self-Help Anxiety Management

JMIR Mental Health, Vol 5, No 4 (2018): Oct-Dec. Interaction and Engagement with an Anxiety Management App: Analysis Using Large-Scale Behavioral Data. Matthews, Topham,  Caleb-Solly.

https://mental.jmir.org/2018/4/e58/

Background: SAM (Self-help for Anxiety Management) is a mobile phone app that provides self-help for anxiety management. Launched in 2013, the app has achieved over one million downloads on the iOS and Android platform app stores. Key features of the app are anxiety monitoring, self-help techniques, and social support via a mobile forum (“the Social Cloud”).

Methods: Data mining techniques were used on aggregate data obtained from 105,380 registered users of the app’s cloud services.

Results: Anxiety levels among all monitoring users were markedly reduced in the first few days of usage with some bounce back effect thereafter. A small group of users demonstrated long-term anxiety reduction (using a robust measure), typically monitored for 12-110 days, with 10-30 discrete updates and showed low levels of social participation.

Conclusions: The data supported our expectation of different usage patterns, given flexible user journeys, and varying commitment in an unstructured mobile phone usage setting. We nevertheless show an aggregate trend of reduction in self-reported anxiety across all minimally-engaged users

Free SAM app download at:

MindMate

https://www.mindmate-app.com

MindMate offers the first all-in-one solution. It stimulates brain activity, offers advice on correct nutrition & physical exercises and makes it easy to stay connected with your social environment. Furthermore, they provide users with a wide range of engagement tools, including a jukebox feature and a television section. These tools are designed to engage people living with dementia and equip carers with convenient tools to deliver real person-centred care.

Backed up by research review: Woods B, et al. (2012). Cognitive stimulation to improve cognitive functioning in people with dementia. Review article. Cochrane Database, Syst Rev. Feb 15;(2):CD005562. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005562.pub2.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22336813/

Study authors conclude:

There is consistent evidence from multiple trials that cognitive stimulation programmes benefit cognition in people with mild to moderate dementia over and above any medication effects. However, the trials were of variable quality with small sample sizes and only limited details of the randomisation method were apparent in a number of the trials. Other outcomes need more exploration but improvements in self-reported quality of life and well-being were promising.

Read-Clear

http://www.readclear.co.uk/

Read-Clear is a tablet App designed to assist reading in people with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and other degenerative conditions that impair vision. The App aims to alleviate the effects of the following:

Visual disorientation (e.g. getting lost in the page)

Visual crowding (e.g. words cluttering up)

Oculomotor apraxia (e.g. difficulty following text along a line)

Read-Clear was developed in a collaborative effort between scientists at University College London (UCL) and people living with PCA and their relatives and was funded by The Dunhill Medical Trust. It currently runs in Android and it is available in English, Spanish and French. From this website, you can download the App and the User Manual.

It particularly targets visuospatial difficulties (e.g., getting lost in the text)

Customizable to accommodate the text presentation to the user needs

Friendly interface co-designed by people living with progressive visual cognitive impairment

Capacity to download news and books and import content from websites

Download at:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.ac.ucl.pcareader

The Oxford Cognitive Screen

http://www.ocs-test.org

The Oxford Cognitive Screen (OCS) was developed as a brief stroke-specific cognitive screen, aimed to be used in time- and resource-pressured acute clinical settings. The OCS provides a meaningful ‘cognitive profile’ for a patient covering 5 core cognitive domains (attention, language, memory, number and praxis).

Finally, the OCS has been adapted for tablet-based administration. OCS-BRIDGE was funded by the Wellcome Trust and Department of Health and includes a scripted OCS administration and automatic reporting as well as tests by the Cambridge team.

OCS-BRIDGE has been developed from years of research at the University of Oxford and the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. It fills a gap between very brief screening tasks, typically developed to detect dementia, and very long, comprehensive neuropsychological assessments, which require a range of different tests, can take hours to complete and must be conducted by a trained clinical neuropsychologist.

This forum provides links to research, apps and other technological solutions clinicians and clients may find useful in the rehabilitation. Please email and let us know about any tech innovations you are aware of that we can add to this database here admin@npsych-rehab.com