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Speaking of Apps

An App for Brain Injury/Stroke

Published July 28, 2014 8:00 AM by Ashley Brannon

BrainBaseline HD is a free app for iPad that is appropriate for adults working to improve cognitive abilities in the following areas: attention, executive function, speed of processing, and memory. The activities in each category set are similar to those used in testing conditions by neuropsychologists. Participants can monitor progress over time visually for each activity. They also compare their results to others by gender, age, education level, income range, and education.

This app is great to use for informal assessment measures and is an appropriate choice for speech therapists who are working with adults with history of brain injury or stroke to address these areas of deficit.This is meant for mild to moderate deficits for individuals who can manage coordinated motor skills to make selections on the device in a timely manner. There are 14 different activities included so you can't go wrong for the price. Remember, it's FREE.  For the Attention category, you may choose from the following tasks:  Blink, Posner, Trails, or Visual search.  When targeting Executive Function, you may choose to work on Digit-Symbol Substitution, Flanker task, Stroop, or Task Switch.  Individuals with weakness in Speed of Processing can use the Face Task and Speed activities. Lastly, participants may choose from Digit Span, N-Back, SPWM, and VSTM to target aspects of memory.

A brief description is provided for each task and indication of what skills each activity targets. In addition, each activity has a practice round to get the individual used to the timing and response requirements.

As a bonus, the newest HD version of the app can be connected to a FitBit device to track distance, steps, sleep/wake cycle, exercise and calories spent on a visual graph. This is meant to show how lifestyle and exercise patterns also impact brain function. You can use this function to set personal goals for distance, steps, sleep, exercise, and calories spent throughout the day. This is also charted on the app for visual representation once connected with your FitBit device.

If you are a clinician working with adults with cognitive deficits, you won't be disappointed with using this app. I find myself using it for informal evaluation, tracking progress during treatment, and for providing activities for patient home exercise programs.

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About this Blog

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