News - Stroke Rehab app review website


December 09, 2016

New website launched by the North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust award winning Neuro rehab team.

Following a stroke or head injury, patients can be left with widespread and long-lasting problems and unfortunately many stroke sufferers require long term support to try and gain as much function and independence back as possible. Rehab is the main stay of this support and consists of a period of specialist input from physiotherapists, specialist nurses, doctors and occupational therapists. Depending on the nature of the stroke, sufferers may require rehab in a variety of different ways to help improve cognitive, functional and communicative problems.

More recently, there is emerging evidence that smart phone and tablet apps can help to become part of this rehab programme and even improve outcomes in stroke patients through a variety of different cognitive and functional training tools.

The Neuro-Rehab team at North Devon have over 4 years’ experience of using apps with stroke survivors and found that although they may not be useful for all patients there are many benefits when using mobile apps as part of a neuro rehab tool kit or functional rehab programme. These apps are being used as a treatment tool with a therapist or independently by patients as part of a home exercise programme.

But with so many apps currently available, how can patients or staff choose between them? The answer came from the Neuro Rehab team themselves, when a few years previously they began to develop a unique app testing pathway that starts by filtering relevant rehab apps through a checklist of essential criteria. If successful, these ‘approved’ apps were then made available to start using with patients and staff within the neuro rehab team. As they were introduced, they went on to review and survey each one by staff and patients to try and highlight the most useful and for which purpose. This unique model has now been formalized and successfully launched as mytherappy, a ‘trip advisor’ style app platform for helping patients and staff find the right app after a stroke or brain injury. All the apps on the site are reviewed by a mixture of clinical staff and expert patients, critiquing apps through the pathway before giving the mytherappy seal of approval to the best ones.

The mytherappy model for approving and reviewing apps in this way provides excellent reassurances to both patients and staff. It also helps patients to engage with new and exciting ways to benefit and progress their recovery and could translate to support other types of rehab and physical therapy.

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