Smartphone apps can assist with stroke recovery and rehabilitation.
Ischemic strokes — wherein "blood flow to the brain is blocked" — account for roughly 87 percent of all strokes.
Stroke can cause significant injury to the brain that may result in many long-term problems.
For example, communication, concentration, memory, and executive function, as well as spatial awareness, are all cognitive functions that may be impacted by stroke.
Stroke can also trigger mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as movement and coordination problems, paralysis, difficulties swallowing, visual impairment, and urinary incontinence and loss of bowel control.
The faster a person is treated after stroke, the more likely they are to recover from it. Surveys have shown that people who "arrived at the emergency room within 3 hours" of their first symptoms of stroke had "less disability" 3 months later than those who were treated later.
While some people recover quickly from stroke, others may need long-term support. Apps are available to help aid the stroke recovery process. They can help you or your loved one to track appointments and medications, provide language therapy, train the brain, and even lower some risk factors for future strokes.
Medical News Today have selected the top 10 apps to assist with stroke recovery.
Cozi is a family organizer designed to keep track of multiple schedules. The app can help caregivers to manage their schedules and is ideal if the person recovering from a stroke has several caregivers.
Keep track of schedules with a shared color-coded calendar and set reminders for yourself or other family members so that medical appointments and medications are not missed.
Shopping and to-do lists can also be shared with everyone in the family to ensure that you have everything you need from the grocery store. All items added to lists are viewable instantly in real-time.
Medisafe is the must-have pill reminder that makes sure that you never miss a dose of your medication or mistakenly double up due to not tracking your medications ever again.
According to the app, mistakes with medicine use and dosage tracking result in 50 percent of individuals not taking medication as prescribed, 700,000 hospital visits, 125,000 deaths each year, and 44 in every 100 prescriptions not being collected from the pharmacy.
Whether you are taking one drug dose or multiple doses each day, it can be challenging to remember to take the right pill at the right time. Medisafe takes the stress out of having to remember if you or your loved one took their medications correctly.
Stop, Breathe & Think
Research has shown that increased activity in a brain region called the amygdala, which is involved in stress, is tied to a greater risk of stroke. Therefore, reducing stress while in recovery from stroke could reduce the risk of future strokes.
Stop, Breathe & Think is a meditation and mindfulness app that helps to decrease stress and anxiety. The app provides guided meditations, breathing exercises, and yoga and acupressure videos to help you check in with your emotions.
Stop, Breathe & Think says that taking a few minutes every day to feel calm is just as important as getting frequent exercise and will reduce stress and promote peace of mind.
7 Minute Workout Challenge
Working out three to five times per week reduces the likelihood of recurrent stroke by fivefold, according to a study published in the journal Neurology.
If you are unsure of how to start an exercise routine after stroke, the 7 Minute Workout Challenge app could be the perfect app for you. The 7-minute workout is a research-backed exercise program that has become a hit internationally.
Scientists have put together 12 exercises to perform for 30 seconds each with a rest period of 10 seconds in-between. The exercise sequences are easy to do, require no equipment, and can be done anywhere.
Language Therapy 4-in-1
After stroke, it is common to experience a condition called aphasia, which affects your ability to understand what people are saying, find the right words, and read and write. Aphasia is often a symptom of the brain damage caused by stroke.
Language Therapy 4-in-1 is a scientifically proven speech therapy app that aims to improve speaking, listening, reading, and writing in those with aphasia. Get started by giving their free version, Language Therapy Lite, a try today.
Research led by the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom found that using the app for 20 minutes each day for 4 weeks showed improvements in all study participants with chronic aphasia.
Android: Free trial
iPhone: Free trial
Constant Therapy is a cognitive and speech therapy app designed for individuals who are recovering from stroke, brain injury, and aphasia. The app is free for 15 days and then offers users the chance to continue with a monthly or annual subscription.
With more than 65 task categories, 100,000 exercises, and 10 levels of difficulty, Constant Therapy can help to improve cognition, memory, speech, language, reading, and comprehension skills.
Constant Therapy was developed by scientists at Boston University in Massachusetts and is recommended by neurologists, speech language pathologists, and occupational therapists. Research published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience showed a significant improvement in standardized tests for stroke survivors after using Constant Therapy.
Stroke can sometimes cause damage to brain areas that receive, process, and interpret information sent from the eyes. This damage may result in losing part of your field of vision or causing double vision.
VocalEyes is computer vision for the visually impaired. The app uses machine learning to help people with vision problems identify objects in their everyday lives. Take a photo, and the app will tell you what the camera sees.
VocalEyes's audio response describes scenes and environments, identifies objects, label logos, and brands, reads text, detects faces, classifies emotions, recognizes ages, and distinguishes currency denominations.
Glasses is a digital magnifier and mirror that can help you to view fine print and objects with up to 12x magnification.
If your vision is impaired after stroke or you have simply forgotten your glasses, the app can zoom in on labels and nutritional information in a grocery store and menus in dark restaurants as well as help you see how much to pay on the bill after eating out.
Glasses is simple to use. Double tapping quickly zooms in or out by 6x, while swiping uses a slow and continuous zoom method. If you have shaky hands, you can tap and hold to freeze the image on screen.
If you are experiencing cognitive function problems after stroke, brain-training apps provide a platform to exercise and improve the areas of the brain involved in concentration, memory, planning, reason, and problem-solving.
Elevate is a brain-training app that is designed to enhance speaking abilities, processing speed, focus, and memory. Elevate provides a personalized training program that adapts in difficulty over time to ensure you are always challenged.
Elevate features more than 40 games aimed at improving your skills, plus a workout calendar that tracks your streaks to keep you motivated. Users who train with Elevate at least three times each week have reported considerable gains in abilities and increased confidence.
The Peak app includes 40 unique brain-training games developed by neuroscientists to challenge and build your cognitive skills.
Peak features a personal brain trainer, known as Coach, who selects the perfect workouts for you at the correct time. Choose your training exercises from Coach's recommendations to challenge yourself and stay motivated by tracking your progress with in-depth insights.
Free games challenge your attention, memory, problem-solving skills, mental agility, coordination, emotional control, language, and creativity. Upgrade to Pro for additional features.