For those who have suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI), performing simple daily tasks such as reading an email, calculating a tip, or processing directions can be challenging.
Boston-based Constant Therapy has developed a software platform that aids in the cognitive recovery of patients who have suffered a stroke or TBI. Spun out of Boston University and funded by the Coulter Foundation for Translational Research, the platform delivers cognitive and language exercises that supplement traditional therapy sessions.
Constant Therapy helps patients restore cognitive functions that are essential to daily life. “What we have done in Constant Therapy’s software platform is develop a whole range of exercises that help people read words, read newspaper articles, do simple math, navigate themselves through a map, and listen to voicemails,” said Dr. Swathi Kiran, the co-founder and scientific advisor of Constant Therapy.
For about $20 a month, Constant Therapy provides patients access to a library of over 60,000 exercises, which includes tasks like sentence completion, face matching, and clock math. It. also provides instant feedback on performance.
Although there are other supplemental therapy apps on the market for stroke and TBI patients, Kiran notes that there are few ways to evaluate how well patients are doing on their “homework.” Constant Therapy helps to solve for this problem by allowing the patients’ clinicians to monitor their activity.
“Before this influx of technological applications, the traditional form of therapy was that the clinician interacted with the patient in a one or two hour session where they used traditional approaches such as workbooks, printed pieces of paper, pictures that are printed or flashcards,” Kiran said.
Unlike traditional therapy, Constant Therapy allows clinicians to log in at any time to see how their patients are doing with those same exercises at home. They can see how often their patients log in, what exercises they’re doing, and if they’re succeeding at them.
“What we know for sure, for these patients who’ve had strokes and TBI, the more they practice the more they recover because the brain is recovering the language and cognitive functions,” Kiran said. “This allows a much better way to really reinforce that extra practice.”
Alexandra David is a senior at Boston University studying journalism. She was the City Editor of the Daily Free Press and has worked for the IDG News Service and LeadingAge. Her passions include social justice, Boston, and, of course, journalism. Her hobbies include reading (like a good writer) and watching documentaries.
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