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Speaking of Apps

Take a Cue from Qcard: Review & Giveaway

Published October 31, 2012 4:28 PM by Megan Sutton
 While most apps on this blog are for use in therapy, this week I'd like to discuss an app that may benefit clients living with brain injury, dementia, or other memory impairments in their lives outside the therapy room.  Qcard is a new life management app for iPhone designed by a brain injury survivor to help others like him. Smartphones are natural memory-helpers with built-in calendars, appointments, contact books, and reminders, but for people with neurological impairments, separate apps are difficult to learn and don't offer enough support.

Qcard has a clean interface with color-coding of 3 basic types of entries: appointments, quick reminders, and guided tasks.  There are also lists that can be created independently or associated with another entry.



When setting up a new appointment, the app allows the user to add a description, contact info (pulled from the user's contacts), date and time, recurrence, reminder, and travel time. The travel time aspect stands out as a unique feature of this app; so often people with brain injury forget to account for how long it takes to get somewhere.  The appointment-editing screen also lets you add list items, reminding you to take the things you need to the appointment.



A quick reminder can be set to remember to complete tasks, with reminders going off every minute until it is marked as complete - perfect for those with short attention spans. A reminder has a description, a time to go off, recurrence options, and an optional list for tasks that require additional information or steps.

If a task requires multiple steps that the user has difficulty remembering, guided tasks remind the user along the way. For a non-impaired person, a reminder to "do laundry" is probably sufficient; for someone living with brain injury, laundry is a multi-step process that may be overwhelming. Qcard lets you break down the task into washing, drying, and folding with reminders at the appropriate times.

A few suggestions I have for this app include more options for recurrence (i.e. allowing for appointments to occur every 2 weeks or on the last Friday of the month) and rewording a few prompts. For instance, when entering an appointment, the label "Set Due Date" is confusing - it could say "Start Time" instead since appointments start and aren't due.  This app has no picture support, so it can only be used by people who have no trouble reading or typing. Another shortcoming of this app is that it doesn't sync with other calendars, requiring all existing appointment to be manually re-entered.

Overall, the interface is clean and reasonably easy to navigate. There may be training required for a brain-injured person to use the app independently, but it can be mastered with support. This app was designed to be used on the iPhone as it must go everywhere with the user to be effective, but it will work on the iPad or iPad mini. The built-in tutorial and website are useful for learning, and the developer is quick to respond. For just $4.99, this app could be the difference between dependence and independence for brain injury survivors in the community.

The developer has generously donated a copy of Qcard for one lucky reader. Keep it for yourself or give it to a client who may benefit. Just comment on this post and we'll pick a winner next week.



Thanks for the info. It is wonderful to finally have great organized apps that can help my patients bridge from dependent to independent in their day.

Chris, , Speech-language pathologist Lodi memorial hospital December 2, 2012 4:29 PM
Lodi CA

Thanks for introducing this app! I have a few clients in mind that would love this app to use with their daily planners! I like that each task can be broken down with reminders if needed.

Rachel , SLP December 2, 2012 4:10 PM
Saint Petersburg FL

Sounds like a great ap not only for those who are aging, have TBI or dementia, but for those of us who have run out of places to put sticky notes!

Jean Gunn, SLP November 5, 2012 5:40 PM

Looks like a great app for those higher level patients!  Thanks for the intro and review!

Julie November 4, 2012 5:01 PM

I can think of many clients who could benefit from this app. It even sounds like it would work well for me!

Laura, , SLP Northern nev med center November 3, 2012 5:43 PM
Sparks NV

Looks great.  I was just saying that i wanted more apps for my pts with head injuries!

Carrie Walls November 2, 2012 8:20 PM

With older parents; I see this as being beneficial while they can still read.  It would allow them to live independently for awhile longer.

Val Hendricks, I-P - SLP November 2, 2012 7:39 AM
Holland MI

This also looks great for us ADD type folks too- I personally am all about the visuals- this would be great to use for myself and have available for the loan device library as well!

Amy T., Speech Pathology - SLPA, School setting November 2, 2012 12:57 AM
Santee CA

I appreciate you sharing this information. The app looks great. I will make sure to pass it on to our network of SLP's for review. I believe that it may be a wonderful app for some of out kiddos that are on the spectrum and need that type of layout for reminders on daily tasks.

Paula Kurday, SLP November 2, 2012 12:37 AM
Houston TX

This app looks like it would truly benefit those with dementia or a brain injury. Breaking the steps down is a nice added bonus especially if there is a time delay. I like the color contrast also.

Kristina, SLP October 31, 2012 9:26 PM

Hi Megan: Thanks for the review. This app looks quite promising for a client of mine who continually drifts off task. Just today in fact, we decided to try having her set alarms, and also wear a rubber-type bracelet whose sole purpose is to remind her what it was she had identified as her priority/task in order to return to it. She also works a volunteer placement at the library and I am in the process of setting up photo-supported step-by-step manual of procedures for some of the book check-in and out-related tasks. This looks like a promising solution to both these areas and could replace her paper dayplanner as well.

Erin McLeod, , Speech Pathologist Two-Way Street Communication Services October 31, 2012 8:03 PM
Sault Ste. Marie

Nice contrasting colour. The laundry task breakdown would also help for those people who have to go to a laundry room of an apt. building.

Susan, SLP October 31, 2012 6:30 PM

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About this Blog

    Speaking of Apps
    Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
    Setting: Rehabilitation
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