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Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Thu, 2013-02-07 11:40.
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In the early days of the mobile phone, it was perceived as a leisure item. Fast forward to today, the cell phone has gotten a whole lot smarter, and majority of the world’s population can’t go about their day-to-day lives without one. Morgan Moe, co-founder and Chief Clinical Innovation Officer of StrokeLink, believes the iPad is poised to walk the same path.

StrokeLink, is a free iPad app that empowers stroke survivors during their care and rehabilitation process through the provision of a knowledge base and self-care tools to augment the gaps that are unfortunately inherent in health care deliveries. Just in Canada alone, 67% of stroke patients get discharged from the hospital without access to rehabilitation facilities. And even if they do, care allotment is relatively low and self-management resources range from very little to absolutely nil.

The idea for StrokeLink came about when Morgan, then a volunteer at ARBI (Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured), went to visit her great aunt who had multiple strokes. She saw that her aunt was given written exercises on pieces of scrap paper, although they were mostly stick figures with barely discernible instructions. Around the same time, Morgan got her first iPad and, according to her, it seemed obvious to piece the two together.

When asked what had been their biggest challenge so far, Morgan and co-founder/CEO Anne-Marie Paquette asserted that it had been shifting people’s perception of the iPad from a leisure gadget to a health care delivery tool.

Essentially, the app is subdivided into four categories: My Goals, which is where the patient’s personal goals are stored; My Progress, which measures daily activity to assess the patient’s progress based on his goals; My Programs, which includes photos, videos, audio and text descriptions of each exercise in the rehabilitation program; and My Library, which is a resource base to help the patient better understand his care team, how to prevent another stroke from happening, living and coping with the effects of stroke.

At the moment, StrokeLink is set to release an update that will allow users to customize the app’s built-in exercise programs, as well as create their own. Using the iPad’s microphone and camera, they should be able to substitute existing pictures, text, video and audio. As well, through StrokeLink’s web dashboard, health care providers should be able to remotely monitor their patients’ progress.

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