ApplTree – Memory aid software for people with acquired brain injury

Dr. Matthew Jamieson

After a brain injury some people find it difficult to make plans and remember to carry out everyday tasks such as attending appointments and taking medication. Applications or ‘apps’ on mobile phones can remind people about everyday activities and help them plan and organize their lives. However apps created for the general population can often be confusing to use for people with impaired attention, memory and problem solving.

We have developed ApplTree, a reminding app that may be simpler to use for people with these difficulties. One key feature is that, in contrast to calendar based reminder apps, only a small amount of information is presented on each screen to reduce demand on memory and attention. A second key feature is regular automatic prompts asking, ‘Do you need to set any reminders?’ that occur up to six times a day. These prompts could encourage people to set more reminders and therefore remember more everyday events.

During this project a working version of the app will be made so it can be given to people with brain injury in a research study. This new version of ApplTree will allow us to gather information about how often people used the app, and how easy the app was to use. This feedback will allow us to find out if the key features impact the use of the app during everyday use. The project aim is to further develop ApplTree and to learn about the use of reminding apps by people with brain injury.