App to help people with brain injuries live independently

A new app has been developed to help people with acquired brain injuries in Wales live independently by assisting them with everyday tasks such as cooking and making hot drinks (MediWales, 2017).

MASCOT is being put together by SymlConnect Ltd, with support from Wrexham Glyndwr University, after Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board identified a need for a tool which would “promote independence in cooking tasks” for people with brain injuries.

The app is designed by experts from Wrexham Glyndwr University’s Computer Science and Occupational Therapy departments, in collaboration and consultation with practising NHS occupational therapists and their service users. It provides imagery, instructions and timings on how to do everything from making a cup of tea to cooking chicken curry or spaghetti bolognese.

MASCOT (Mobile Analysis and Support Companion for Occupational Therapy) is designed to be as simple and user friendly as possible, with the software tailored to meet the needs and preferences of service users. The app also aims to increase the efficiency of occupational therapists, enabling them to identify and tackle priority cases through a self-rating facility on completion of each recipe.

MASCOT is included in Innovation Nation, a new collection of case studies highlighting the value to the Welsh economy of research and development activity in universities. Innovation Nation is the first comprehensive showcase of the contribution Wales’s universities make outside academia. The report says “The Welsh Government recognises the need to use technology effectively to support clinical roles and promote a greater integration between health and social care. Within the consultation process on the MASCOT prototype, service users have noted the potential of their reduced risk levels; assistance provided during rehabilitation stages; increased confidence with everyday tasks; and promoting and enabling independent living.”

More than a hundred delegates attended a reception to launch the case studies collection in the Senedd, which was opened by the Skills and Science Minister, Julie James. University exhibitors were on hand to offer further insight into their collaborations with local, national, and international businesses.

Julie James said “I am pleased to promote these excellent case studies which showcase the high standard of Welsh Government supported research and development underway in universities and businesses in Wales. The case studies show high quality examples of internationally renowned industries working with world-class research capability and demonstrate why Wales has a growing reputation as a location of choice for innovation, creativity and technology. I hope they will inspire more businesses in the areas of science, engineering and technology to come to Wales.”

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