It’s a story that’s near and dear to our hearts – just how did Constant Therapy come to be? Read on to learn how the Constant Therapy app was born out of clinician and patient feedback, in collaboration with scientific and technology masterminds.
Science and Technology Combine to Create a Better Way to Deliver Effective Cognitive and Speech Therapy
It started with Dr. Swathi Kiran, professor at Boston University, and head of the Aphasia Research Laboratory at BU. Dr. Kiran has years of experience leading the field of speech-language pathology in offering the most effective and innovative therapy to people with cognitive, language, and speech disorders. As she worked with patients in her lab, she saw the perfect opportunity for merging communication therapy and technology to make an easy-to-use, mobile app that stroke, aphasia and brain injury survivors could use in the clinic, as well as in the privacy of their own homes.
Experienced technologists Veera Anantha, Mahendra Advani, and Ehsan Dadgar joined the team and Constant Therapy was born. Dr. Kiran and her team took cognitive and speech therapy tasks that were already “tried and true” on paper, supported by scientific evidence, and collaborated with the engineers and technologists to program mobile versions of each of the tasks.
Clinician and Patient Feedback Loops Are the Key to a Powerful App
Clinicians and researchers in Dr. Kiran’s lab, along with Dr. Kiran, gave input to the engineers, who then produced initial concepts of tasks in an iPad app. They trialed it with a patient volunteers in an ongoing feedback loop; and from this, suggested modifications were brought back to the engineers. They heard feedback like:
- “The answer buttons need to be bigger.”
- “Give the users more cues – in Auditory Command, the patients are having trouble thinking of the word for each picture – can you make the app say the word if they tap on the picture?”
- “Can you move the buttons to the left? Our clients have right-sided paralyses, they can’t use their right hands.”
Constant Therapy engineers continued the feedback loop by incorporating each piece of clinical and patient feedback, adjusting everything from cues to the structure of the app.
The more feedback they got, the more user-friendly the app became, and the more excited the entire team became.
Early Research Proves Effectiveness
Next, research studies were performed, focusing specifically on whether Constant Therapy was effective in treating cognitive and language disorders. The studies found that Constant Therapy carryover users saw significant gains on standardized tests that measured cognitive and language abilities.
Ongoing User Feedback and Research Assure That We’re Constantly Improving the Product
Today, our clinical-technological collaboration is ongoing – we constantly incorporate feedback from clinicians and patient/caregiver users. And the data we collect every day allows us to understand what therapy types work best for different types of people and disorders – this a real breakthrough in the industry.
This is what we believe is the “secret sauce” to what makes our app so successful – getting feedback from the people who matter most – the people who use our app every single day.