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Neuro rehab technology

App suite sees global growth

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The five apps are PaceMyDay, ReachMyGoals, StrategiseMyLife, CompleteMyToDos and CueMyList.

A suite of apps to support people with brain injuries in developing their cognitive skills has seen a surge in demand globally during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brain Education Strategies Technology (BEST) developed the first of its five apps six years ago, with a new app or major update every year since.

The non-profit venture has created apps to answer the exact needs of people with brain injuries, to help them challenge their cognitive issues and take back control of their lives. Its use in other conditions, including MS, anxiety and PTSD, is also increasing.

From its base in the US, sales have come from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

BEST has been developed by Michelle Wild, who has taught on the United States’ only college brain injury programme for the past 35 years, and is supported by a team of volunteers who have previously been part of her course and themselves have cognitive problems.

And with global growth in sales of its BEST suite over the past year, as more people look to support themselves in lockdown and isolation, an Android version of the app is now in development to help reach even further around the world.

In a further upgrade, a dashboard is also being planned to enable professionals and family members alike to see the individual’s progress. Longer-term, enhanced online training and cognition classes are planned.

“Our sales numbers have gone up a lot during COVID and I think once we have our Android version, that growth will continue,” says Michelle.

Michelle Wild celebrates the launch of BEST’s first app six years ago

“Our BEST suite has been designed for people with brain injury, it’s helping their exact needs and has been created with them in mind. It’s great to see so many people across the world are using it and are hopefully seeing the benefits for themselves.”

The five apps – PaceMyDay, ReachMyGoals, StrategiseMyLife, CompleteMyToDos and CueMyList – combine to offer a range of support mechanisms, including initiation, time management and confidence, and helps to guide people through their days.

“One of the interesting things about the BEST suite is that it can be introduced within a medical model, but then the individual can take it with them on an ongoing basis,” says Michelle.

“For some people, they use it all the time, for others it ebbs and flows depending on their situation, but it’s there whenever you need it and however often. Some people feel OK, but then revert back to it, and that’s fine.

“We’ve worked with a few veterans in coping with PTSD – while the emotional side of that is addressed, the cognitive impact can often be overlooked, and our app suite can be important in helping them.

“We are trying to encourage self-regulated cognitive skills and support the development of those skills, and our five apps each have an individual role to play in achieving that.”

While internationally successful within the neuro community, BEST is punching above its weight when it comes to impact.

“It’s been an interesting journey for us as a very small non-profit,” says Michelle.

“I’m the founder and all of the volunteers are prior students of mine, who are so invested in this project they want to support it. That is one of the things I’m most proud of, it’s an amazing thing.

“We get a huge benefit as with many of our volunteers, prior to their brain injury, they may have worked in marketing or sales or a variety of digital professions, and they’re now bringing that to help BEST.

“We’re helping them get back into the working environment and enabling them to test out and develop their skills, and hopefully they can get back into work further down the line.”

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