Technology available for the iPhone can be a boon for occupational therapists and their patients. But with Apple supporting over 140,000 applications, how can you wade through the trash to find the treasure? We have put together a list of the five best apps available for the iPhone that can be of tremendous value to therapists, doctors, and patients.
MedAlert – $0.99
This app is perfect for anyone who has trouble remembering to take their medications due to ADHD, the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, or simple forgetfulness. Fully programmable and customizable, you can input the drug name, patient, and the dosing schedule for multiple users. When it’s time for medication, the iPhone will alert the user. Therapists can recommend this app to patients who they suspect are missing doses, even if they will not admit it. This happens most often with elderly Alzheimer’s patients who try to avoid letting their symptoms show for fear of being taken from the home setting. Setting up this app for a patent allows them a greater sense of security and personal dignity in a difficult situation. The app is designed to be easy to use to avoid overwhelming the patient with new technology.
SoundAMP – Price Varies By Features
Not everyone with hearing loss is ready for hearing aids, but many still need help with clarity in certain situations, such as crowded areas. This app helps the hearing impaired by letting them record and playback. It also offers sound magnification, which is an excellent substitute to hold patients over until they can replace a lost hearing aid or dead battery. Therapists can suggest this app to anyone suffering from an auditory processing disorder or hearing problems.
Locabulary – Free
People who are deaf, stutter, or otherwise have difficulties speaking may benefit from this free app. It helps them communicate when they need assistance, instructions, or need to make simple statements. Through a menu of customizable simple phrases, the patient can tap the appropriate phrase and the app will speak on the patient’s behalf. The patient can also input the phrase to speak, making communication easier for the patient wherever he or she may go.
This is already included with the new iPhone 3GS. This feature, available in 21 languages, speaks aloud to tell the user what each button or option on the screen will do. The patient need only touch the button to hear the function. This is great for anyone with vision problems, and also works with text input.
Islet Diabetes Assistant- $2.99
Therapists can recommend this handy app for anyone with diabetes, especially for the newly-diagnosed. This program allows the user to enter their blood sugar levels, insulin dosage, exercise, and carbohydrate intake. The results are then placed on a graph that can be shared with healthcare professionals. This method is far better than keeping hand-written logs or making unreliable guesses.
Jessica Bosari writes for TherapistSchools.com, a site that offers tips and advice for becoming a therapist and finding the best Occupational Therapist Schools. The site also helps students in other therapy fields such as Child and Addiction Therapies.
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