Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust’s stroke therapy team has launched a website to help patients find the best apps to aid in rehab and recovery following a stroke or brain injury.
The website, which can be accessed at www.my-therappy.co.uk, offers a database of apps that have been tried and tested by a network of therapists and patients. The apps also come with a star rating and genuine user feedback.
Users can create an account on the website, which will allow them to rate the apps, and users can also suggest apps to test without creating an account.
Ruth Siewruk, advanced practitioner occupational therapist for neuro and stroke, said: “We are delighted to launch the mytherappy website and we hope lots of patients and their friends and family benefit from the service, as well as staff.
“We want to empower patients to manage their health in the way that is right for them, and this new website helps those who are recovering from a stroke or brain injury to do exactly that.”
The stroke therapy team have spent four years developing the project, which was started as a result of the high number of patients asking for advice on what apps can help them.
The website is the first of its kind in the UK and is designed to provide a rehab and recovery resource for stroke patients and clinicians across the country.
Alison Diamond, chief executive of the Trust, said: “The launch of the mytherappy website is a fantastic achievement that will benefit patients, their friends and family, and staff across the country.
“This project has been four years in the making and is a superb example of an innovative response to patient requests – congratulations to the stroke therapy team on the launch.”
The Trust’s network of app testers is spread across the South West and includes clinical specialists and patients who have previously had a stroke or brain injury, and those who are currently receiving treatment. The network tests thousands of apps before the stroke team assess which should be included on the website.
NHS clinical specialists in stroke, neurology and head injury review the apps, including occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, nurses, psychologists and support workers. Patient app testers include stroke patients who face a variety of difficulties that the different apps can help with.
Each app comes with a profile, which includes information to help the patient, family member or clinician decide if it suits the needs of the patient. This includes cost, clinician rating, user rating, app description, feedback from users and a named category that shows what the app can help with.
The different categories are thinking, communication, arms and fingers, vision, my mood, eating and drinking, doing things, being active, relaxing, pain and got questions, a category that groups together information apps.
Each app’s profile also includes links to the App Store and Google Play so that users can easily download the app to their device.
The website has been launched with funding from the Trust and from the Academic Health Science Network.
mytherappy was created by the stroke therapy team at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and is an NHS venture. The logo is attached.
Visit the website at www.my-therappy.co.uk
The team have previously won in the stroke category at the Care Integration Awards in 2013, and the overall award and in the ‘Improving quality: measuring and demonstrating impact’ category at the Advancing Healthcare Awards 2013 for their early supported discharge (ESD) and VISTA projects. For this same work they won the award for ‘Value and Improvement in Community Health Service Redesign’ at the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards 2014.
The team introduced home visits and additional care support from stroke therapy staff to allow an earlier discharge from hospital for patients.
They also set up an innovative patient and carer support group called VISTA, which meets weekly and gives people the chance to join others in a similar situation as well as improve their fitness and speed up their recovery.
They have also worked with NHS England by providing data about clinicians’ feedback on the apps for NHS England’s Health Apps Library. More information here: http://www.nhs.uk/pages/healthappslibrary.aspx