Constant Therapy Was Born Out of a Powerful Collaboration of Clinicians, Patients, and Software Masterminds
First enter Dr. Swathi Kiran, a professor at Boston University’s world-renowned Aphasia Research Laboratory. Dr. Kiran has years of experience (and many degrees) under her belt guiding the field of speech-language pathology to offer the most effective and innovative therapy to people with aphasia. In the midst of a study that she and members of her lab were conducting, the perfect opportunity for merging communication treatment and technology arose. By combining the technological prowess of Veera Anantha, Mahendra Advani, and Ehsan Dagar, Constant Therapy was born.
We Had a Dream to Ensure People Can Access World-class Cognitive Therapy, Where and When They Need It
Constant Therapy was created by people who understood firsthand, after meeting and working with the amazing stroke and TBI survivors at Boston University, that worldclass rehabilitation therapy is the KEY to recovery.
They knew that while some survivors live in proximity to therapists like speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and neurologists, NOT everyone is that lucky. Some people further outside of metro areas just don’t have access. Others don’t have transportation to leave their homes and get to therapy, and some have run out of Medicare or other insurance funding.
Not everyone could receive the therapy they so desperately needed – and so rightfully deserved.
The Constant Therapy team wanted to create a new therapy platform that could harness technology to overcome those hurdles – and open the floodgates to providing rehabilitative linguistic and cognitive therapy to anyone who needed it, anytime, anywhere.
And with dream in hand, the collaboration began.
Built With a Continuous Feedback Loop Between Clinicians, Patients, and Software Engineers
To start off, clinicians working with Dr. Kiran, along with Dr. Kiran herself, gave initial input to the engineers, who then produced various concepts of what a therapy task might look like in an iPad app format. The clinicians from the lab would look at those tasks and provide feedback using their experience working with patients who would be using Constant Therapy.
The software developers would then go back and improve the tasks and exercises they were building for the iPad, based on that feedback. Once the clinicians felt a task was ready to test, they would test it with a few patients. And those patients would provide their own feedback, and back to the engineers the program went for more improvement.
In this way, an iterative collaboration was created, ensuring that from the start, Constant Therapy would be effective and usable for both clinicians and patients.
“The Answer Buttons Need to Be Bigger”
Patients and clinicians had lots of critical feedback along the way. Here are some examples.
- “Give the users more cues – in Auditory Command, the patients are having trouble thinking of the word for each picture – can you make the picture say the word if they tap on it?” Our engineers really are masterminds, and they incorporated each piece of feedback. They added multitudes of cues.
- “Move the buttons to the left,” they said. “Our clients have right-sided paralyses, they can’t use their right hands.” So the engineers added a left-handed versus right-handed option.
- “Make sure they really are ready to submit their Symbol Matching answers BEFORE you score them,” the clinicians requested. So the engineers added a “Check Answer” button to make sure that users were FULLY done looking for matching symbols.
The more feedback they got, the more user-friendly the app became, and the more excited the entire collaborative team became.
Finally, it was time to let the program move beyond the Aphasia Research Laboratory, and into the community.
Constant Therapy Moves Out into the Community
Our clinical-technological collaboration is never complete – the feedback loop continues to this day – we take our feedback from clinicians AND users – seriously. And we seek it constantly. This is what we believe is the “secret sauce” to what makes Constant Therapy so successful for clinicians and patients alike – we are always adjusting the app, always looking for feedback to make sure that we are providing the BEST therapy possible. And we’re asking for feedback from the people who matter most – the people who use our app EVERY single day!
Ready to join our community of feedback-givers? Check out Constant Therapy today! Did you know that Constant Therapy offers a variety of tasks that can help people with brain injury, stroke, dementia, and learning disorders, and the clinicians that provide their therapy? Go to either the Apple App store, the Google Play store, or the Amazon App store and download the app! Then just create a user name and you’re ready to go – over 60 research-based and customized cognitive and language tasks await you.