Occupational therapy apps add a technological element to the exercises many therapists use to strengthen speech, visual perception and motor skills in people suffering from a disability, such as children with learning disorders or stroke victims.
Occupational Therapy Apps for Speech
Tap to Talk: This app allows those with no verbal skills to effectively communicate. In addition to the thousands of pictures that come with this application, users can add their own. The app supports English as well as many other languages. Available for use with both Apple and Android, as well as electronic readers.
MyTalkTools: This was created by a parent whose child was born developmentally disabled. Uses SymbolStix and personal images. Drag and drop capabilities make for simple use. Available for iPod, iPad and the iPhone.
Occupational Therapy Apps for Fine Motor Skills and Visual Perception
iWriteWords: This handy app makes writing fun and its quirky design makes it feel like a game. Individuals learn to write letters and spell words. Made for the iPhone and iPad.
Dexteria: Dexteria is meant to be challenging. Patients learn to improve grip through a series of timed activities. Great for stroke sufferers, as well as amputees forced to use a non-dominant hand. Available with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
Shelby’s Quest: Follow the story of Shelby through various levels. Created by an occupational therapist, this app not only tests finger isolation, but visual perception, too. Tracks the progress of multiple users. For use with the iPad.
Occupational Therapy Apps for the Therapist
Super Duper Data Tracker: Track patients and students, manage objectives and personalize notes on this convenient app. Includes voice recorder for taking notes. Used with iPod, iPad, iPhone and Android.
The first generation of mobile phones dates back to the 1970’s when bulky hand-held mobile radio devices were first developed. Since this time, mobile phone technology has expanded exponentially. Here we look at just five pieces of mobile phone technology that have changed the way we use our phones.
Batteries and Technology for Mobile Phones
Battery technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years and has contributed to the constantly reducing size of the phones. Traditionally, the batteries were made from nickel but more recently these batteries are being made from lithium, which is famously the lightest metal known to man. These are lighter and can hold their charge for longer, which make them an ideal candidate for mobile phones. The future of phone battery technology is thought to be in solid-state batteries and the race is on to create one that can be mass produced. These would potentially massively increase the length of charge that a phone battery could hold and greatly decrease the manufacturing costs.
There is now technology for protecting mobile phones from the effects of liquids. Much like waterproof watches, these range from those that can withstand a few splashes of water, such as being caught a light rain shower, to being resistant to being completely submerged in deep water for long periods of time. This technology is a godsend for many people. For example, anyone who works in the great outdoors, sportsmen and women and boaters, amongst many others. These phones are currently being made by several of the most well-known mobile phone manufacturers, including Nokia and Samsung, and it is very likely that more will join them. The phones are made water resistant using advanced nano-technology and coating them in a chemical water repellent substance that does not add weight or change the look and feel of the phone.
One greatly used piece of technology in mobile phones is GPS or ‘global positioning system’. Many people are familiar with GPS, a technology that has been used for many years to provide reliable location and time information on the go in mobile phones. Using satellites phones with GPS can pinpoint your location anywhere in the world very accurately, up to around 10 metres. More and more phones have included GPS and many can now double up as satellite navigation systems in cars. This ability to have an accurate worldwide map in your pocket, with your precise position at any one point is a much over-looked piece of technology.
3G and HSDPA
Many phones now use 3G technology, the third generation of wireless technology, which allows high-speed transmission, worldwide roaming abilities and enhanced audiovisual streaming on the previous 2.5G technology. Recently, HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) has started to replace this technology in more advanced mobile phones. It has also become known colloquially as 3.5G or turbo 3G due to its significantly faster download speeds with a massive theoretical maximum speed of 14.4Mbps. In effect this maximizes productivity without requiring a wireless network to connect to.
Ever since Apple brought their massively successful iPhone to the market, touch screens on mobile phones have become more and more popular. There are two types of touch screen typically found on mobile phones – capacitive and resistive. Resistive touch screens work by sensing pressure on the screen, whether that is from your finger or a stylus. Capacitive, the newer technology, uses electrodes that sense the conductivity of your finger when placed against the screen. Each has their pros and cons, the ability to use a stylus means that you can make more accurate selections on the screen, whereas capacitive screens are typically more intuitive and sensitive, requiring only the gentlest touch or swipe. Users have enjoyed using touch screens in new and inventive ways, from pinching the screen to zoom out to ‘double clicking’ to select and copy text. This technology is changing the way we interact with our phones forever.
Article by P2i.com – Market leaders in nano-technology and water repellent coatings.
Geolocation sharing services like foursquare, MyTown, Loopt, and others have been getting a lot of press lately in marketing circles. Geolocation is still in early adoption stages, but it is growing rapidly among mobile users. Unfortunately, privacy concerns are growing with it. You might think that the eagerness of location sharers to distribute data about their lives to other users and to companies is a sign of ignorance or unconcern, but it is neither. These users are choosing to accept a certain loss of privacy in return for certain benefits. But, they expect certain boundaries to be observed.
Below you can see the results of a study by privacy services TRUSTe and Harris Interactive. The smartphone owners they surveyed stated that they were most concerned about their privacy.
The reason that these users agree to participate in many apps with advertisers is because they still feel as though they understand the agreement and are in control of the situation. In fact, 36% of the survey participants said that they felt in control of their personal information. How do participants assure themselves? By setting strong passwords and by reading privacy policies thoroughly before opting in or signing up, users feel safe.
Even though other surveys show that many mobiledevice users could potentially be interested in opting into advertisements which target their location based on tracking data, three quarters of the population surveyed in this study indicated that tracking by advertisers disturbed them.
White iPhone 4 displayed at a Softbank mobile store in Omotesando, Tokyo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mobile privacy and security issues will only continue to receive more attention and press as mobile location sharing services grow into the mainstream, particularly with the opening of Facebook Places, which is introducing location sharing to more and more users. Just a couple weeks ago, there was a lot of press surrounding a log file that tracks and records the movements of the iPhone it resides on. If a person should acquire the iPhone, he can view all this tracking data unencrypted, and discover the movements of the iPhone (and its user) since the log file was introduced onto the device.
In reality, this problem has been in existence for a long time. In the past, it was revealed that government agencies make regular use of these types of log files in mobile phones to find out where users have been and what they have been doing. These searches are often conducted illegally without a warrant.
What this means is that until these broader legal dilemmas are more resolved, mobile users will be concerned about privacy and security issues; tracking in particular. This doesn’t stop a lot of people from signing up or opting into apps with companies which track movements though.
If you are starting a geolocation campaign, it is crucial that you understand the privacy and security concerns of your patrons and that you take steps to protect their privacy. Make it very clear in your user agreement what your policies are and how you are protecting the security of mobile users. Let them know that you share their concerns.
Mobile users can benefit from geolocation targeted advertising. The tricks is to make sure that they are benefiting from it, will ensuring their data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Spencer Belkofer is a blogger, researcher, and follower of anything related to Internet marketing. He recently founded Lumin, an Alabama-based Internet marketing firm. Lumin has recently included infographic design as one of it’s service offerings.
Technology has proven itself useful in many areas of human healing, including addiction recovery. While they not to be used as a replacement for treatment, several iPhone apps can be a handy means of support for someone right when it is needed most.
Pocket Sponsor The Pocket Sponsor is an iPod application that offers wisdom, inspiration, and hope. Daily support alerts arrive automatically, but the user can also read additional support messages with a simple tap of the screen. The app provides 31 days of unique morning and evening routines that develop emotional stability and calm. These routines involve meditations, positive mantras, and supportive messages that can be used throughout the day. There will be times when the addict cannot reach a sponsor or other trusted support person, but the Pocket Sponsor will be there day and night.
This iPhone app provides three separate features. First, it allows the user to track his or her recovery with journals and charts that document accomplishments, challenges, triggers, and time spent sober. For many users, the ability to document there feelings in a readily available journal provides great motivation. The second feature is “One Day at a Time.” Users can use these daily messages to build unique recovery programs based on which messages speak to their hearts. The final aspect of iPromises is the Geo-Positioning feature. The iPhone’s built in GPS makes finding a nearby meeting easy.
12 Step Programs Ann-e creates several apps designed to help addicts stay connected to others who understand their struggles. An application exists for all 12 step programs, broadening the sphere of support beyond individuals to reach the entire recovery community. The app offers tree types of communication, including anonymous peer-to-peer instant messaging, connecting anonymous users by phone with conference bridges, and facilitating personal meetings between trusted peers.
Guided Mediation Apps There are numerous apps for the iPhone that assist in guided meditations, an important part of maintaining a calm mind during recovery. Apps generally provide various themes such as “Mindfulness” or “Being Happy” with multiple sessions ranging from 2 to 20 minutes. Those in recovery can download a single meditation or acquire a small collection to find those most useful in stress management.
Cognitive Therapy Apps Cognitive therapy helps addicts reprogram their negative thoughts and behaviors to create a more positive mindset going forward. These apps typically include a journal for users to write down negative thoughts and behaviors as they notice them. They can then notice patterns of thought and behavior that can be corrected and improved. The journal is also helpful during therapy sessions, allowing the user to more readily communicate issues with the therapist. Unlike a traditional notebook, the cognitive therapy apps have locks to protect the user’s privacy.
Jessica Bosari writes for TherapistSchools.com, a site that helps students find the right therapy education, whether they seek behavioral, physical or addiction therapy schools.
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.
The dawn of the smart-phones has brought about not only the phenomena of increasing head injuries as people walk into lamp posts while sending text message to their friends and playing Angry Birds. More interestingly however, the mass adoption of these lifestyle devices has brought about a renegotiation with the physical landscape and the way we interact with our environments. Here are the top 5 Navigation Apps for Smart Phones.
Not only have smart phones effectively made the trusty old Sat Nav obsolete, they’ve left the old timer trudging off into the distanced red-faced and feeling dejected. You see, a smart phone just tell you where you are and where to go, it tells you where your friends think you should, or recommends places it thinks you want go , yep it can read your mind.
So what are the top five navigational apps out at the moment for the iPhone?
Tom Tom Sat Nav
All the functionality of a full sized Tom Tom Sat Nav, in one tint app. This allows you to do everything you would with a regular sat nav, on your phone. You can set a location and have the app read out directions to you in a range of hilarious voices, as well as save locations.
Foursquare is as much a game as a social network. It allows you to publish your physical location to all your friends so they can keep tabs on your whereabouts 24/7 – if you so wish! Find great places in hometown and recommend venues to others by adding tips. You can also get vouchers and exclusive deals by becoming the ‘major’ of certain locations.
Layar is an augmented reality app that uses your phone’s camera to take a snapshot of your environment and label it with markers that show points of interest. The bigger the marker, the closer the point of interest, simply walk towards it virtual signposts to find the nearest coffee house or gym
This is a great app for anxious parents. Simply get your kids to install the app on their phone and you can track where they are and whether or not they are using their phone. Only problem is you may have some difficulty convincing your kids to install this one!
Not strictly an app since it comes as standard with the phone, Google Maps is like a ‘diet’ sat nav. You can now determine exactly where you are on the map and plot a route to your desired location, particularly useful for on-foot journeys.
Joe is a smart-phone lover and and blogger for a car shop selling some great sat nav deals