Friday, December 9, 2011
Not sure if anybody has done any efficacy studies yet, but I am certain that patients had fun.
I have done some investigation myself and it is definitively enjoyable.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Interesting possibilities here. A recent media report said that 3000 missing persons reports were filed each year in Australia for people with dementia who wander. Perhaps devices like these shoes could help keep track of them?
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
A nice thing about it is the inclusion of little facts about dementia, brain health, and steps that people can take to hopefully reduce their chances of dementia - like eating a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical and social activity, and doing mentally stimulating activities - including novel ones.
It's a nice, simple app that is easy to use, and would be useful for anyone interested in maintining good brain health.
Monday, December 5, 2011
I think it is worth a look
- Dropbox lets you share your folders with others. Any changes made to the shared folder's contents will appear instantaneously to everyone who is a member of the folder. Great option for shared private practice for example, or writing papers with others, or sharing docs with supervision groups!
- Dropbox also keeps back-ups of all of your deleted and changed files. It works like a time machine - you can "travel" back to an older version of docs you have previously saved!
Please have a look at security and privacy - I think is all ok. But if anybody sees any concerns, please let us all know.
I have been using Dropbox for quite a while and can't do without anymore.Pascalle
Saturday, December 3, 2011
How does it work?
You have a special Dropbox folder on your computer that copies all documents inside it to a folder that lives somewhere on the internet. Any time you change a document, it automatically changes its copy in cyberspace (but it does back up a previous version in case you want to return to it).
You can set up the same folder on two computers, and its contents will match on both machines as long as you have connection to the internet.
Or you can access the internet copy of your folder from any computer (or ipad, or iphone), and read or download it.
It is very easy to set up and use, and works on both Macs and PCs.
It is handy if you see clients in one location and write reports in another. It also allows you to access a document you desperately need from any location on the planet.
And guess what?
IT IS FREE.
Well, up to a certain amount of storage. If you want more storage, you have to pay, but I have not exceeded my free storage allotment yet. Even though I have put my whole Documents folder into the Dropbox folder. You will exceed it for sure, though, if you want to back up your pictures or films.
I have reviewed all the small print regarding security and confidentiality of data and I am happy with it. However, I would strongly recommend that you perform your own review and arrive at your own decision.
For more information, including a somewhat daft video, check out https://www.dropbox.com/
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
It provides online memory screening tests (digit span, spatial memory, and 'cognitive function and performance' tests), as well as downloads for 2 free cognitive screens and information on Medicare cognitive screening for the US.
The site seems to be set up to help GPs screen for cognitive difficulties in the clinic, but I worry about having a test like digit span available for people to practice on the web. Though it was amusing to read that most people can recall 8 to 10 digits in a row. Whatever happened to 7 plus or minus 2?
Making cognitive screens more available is commendable, as is raising awareness of dementia in primary health providers, but I'm not entirely comfortable about having so much information about the tests so freely available. Commercial interests seem to override the need to protect the integrity of the tests, which could render them useless...
we live in interesting times
3D brain is free in the app store, It provides labels for different structures, plus text info that gives links to research related to the brain structure in question. Studying neuroanatomy would have to be enhanced with this tool. Revising neuroanatomy is fun with it too.
Thiis app is almost as exciting for the neuropsych geek as the recent fMRI research into female orgasm (see http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/237976.php for the researchers' account to the press, use google if you're interested in the participant's story, and if you're not inclined to blush).
This app isn't just a toy for the neuroanatomy nerd. It is also useful for talking about neuroanatomy to patients and their families - it helps put the location and type of their brain injury/stroke/tumour into perspective, and opens up opportunities for education in the feedback session. And that's what this blog is all about - how using apps can help us to help our patients better.
Bye for now
The medscape app is particularly useful in multidisciplinary meetings when an unfamiliar diagnosis pops up, and it is also a good way to revise one's knowledge of more common conditions. And to spend time in waiting rooms reading something more informative than the magazines....
That's all for now, but I have more to share :)
PS Thanks to Izabela for starting this blog!
I find the score converter very helpful and the age calculator comes in handy as well when I don't feel like calculating the client's age by hand.
It also has an option of purchasing a raw to scaled score conversion calculator for the following tests that may be of interest:
- Personality Assessment Inventory
- Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function
- Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult version
- Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Preschool version
- MMSE and MMSE-2
If you would like to give it a try, head to the App Store and google PAR Assessment Toolkit.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
The app store has a 'game based upon one of the most frequently administered neuropsychological tests used to assess general brain function'. You can easily find it by searching for 'Trail Making Test'.
The app allows you to practice the TMT to improve your performance and speed. Both Trails A and B are included, although there are fewer items than in our version (I think Trails A goes up to 10 and Trials B up to E). Otherwise, it looks almost identical.
I have also heard from a client that she has practiced Stroop on her DS. I think it is included in The Brain Training game (has anybody looked at it and can offer a review?).*
Should we start routinely asking younger clients whether they have played games that were like our tests?
Does anybody know any other tests that were converted into games?
*It would be really good if we had lots co-authors for this blog - if you would like to become one, or to just contribute a post, just send me an e-mail (IzaWalters@gmail.com), and I'll organise access for you.
My solution was to get one of those roll-on cabin bags that air hostesses and lawyers use. I was not sure if I'd like it, but it turned out to be fantastic. I got a Samsonite with one small compartment and two biger ones. The client file/s go into the small one, WAIS items into the first big one, WMS items into the second. I also managed to find space for the most frequently used bits of ACS, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and a few bits and pieces. Front pocket fits pens, business cards and sachets of hot chocolate. It opens from the top, so you can put it beside your chair, unzip it half-way and have convenient access to your test materials without taking up desk space. It takes steps quite well, too.
I would definitively recommend it.
I will put a tracker app on it to make sure I find it quicker the next time, but there seems to be a lot of them. Can anybody recommend a good one? If there are no recommendations, see this place for a review of tracking apps next week.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
"Technology for psychologists - Reviewing mobile applications that can improve efficiency, productivity and client care. This blog also fosters communication between psychologists and application developers." http://sylvainroy.blogspot.com/
An impressive categorized list of apps is available under "iPhone APPS" (button on the right).
Please note, it is stated that not all the apps in this list have been validated or verified. Reviewing them is an ongoing process.
I suppose that's what we have to do from a neuropsychological perspective. So, lots of work that needs to be done, but in my view with great opportunities for our field.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
One of the apps for this is called Friend Tracker ($1.99), but there are others.
The Friend Tracker allows other authorised phones to see where you are on the map.
And as a person that has lost her iPhone this afternoon (I suspect it is lying in the kiddie's classroom, but I cannot be sure till tomorrow morning) -
EVERYBODY SHOULD HAVE THIS ON THEIR IPHONE SO THAT THEY CAN TRACK IT WHEN IT IS LOST.
I didn't. If I find my beloved phone, I WILL put it on.
Phone: 1 300 767 492
It also provides tracking, and the ability to make some calls from it.
The company claims that the running costs are low, but it seems to me that it would cost $300 per year to run and $499 to buy the unit. If this is low cost, how much the other devices cost?
For those of us with kids - there is also a model for tracking your kiddies without call-out options. Not sure if I like the idea.
It looks like a watch and shows time, but can also send out an SMS with a street address in response to a call and receive incoming calls. It has two pre-programmed call buttons and a red panic button.
It can also be set up to provide an invisible electronic fence (if wearer leaves safe zone, alert is generated) and SMS breadcrumbing (sending position information at pre-set intervals).
More information at:
I would be interested to know if there are any privately practicing Neuropsychologists who train clients in how to use technologies such as smart phones and if so are eligible clients (with a mental health plan) accessing Medicare rebates for such "skill training" sessions.
B Psych (Hons), M Psych (Neuro),
MAPS, College of Clinical Neuropsychologists
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
This is a new blog for informal sharing of information about technology in Neuropsychology: both for our clients and for the running of our professional lives. Please share ideas and restrict criticism - this is meant to be a source of ideas and a way of sharing solutions to problems rather than a place to set standards and critique others.
If you would like to contribute, please let me know and I'll set you up as one of the authors.
- technological aids and solutions for clients and carers
- the ways you use technology in your practice
- interesting websites and web-based tools
- information about similar blogs
If you have any questions, email me on IzaWalters@gmail.com