To provide mobile support to those affected by neurological disorders, GE Healthcare has designed a free iPad app that provides brain stimulation for people with neurological conditions. It also provides helpful advice for caregivers.
Created and endorsed by neurologists, the GE Healthcare MIND (Make an Impact on Neurological Disorders) App’s launch coincides with Brain Awareness Week (March 10-16) and is designed to provide mental stimulation to those affected by neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, essential tremors, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.
Through music and art, users will have the opportunity to engage in activities on both emotional and physical levels, resulting in an experience that users will, ideally, find to be stimulating and fun.
Music has been shown to improve patients’ recoveries in specific areas. For example, a 2008 Finnish study1 found that if stroke patients listened to music for two hours a day, they recovered their verbal memory and focused-attention capabilities better than those who didn’t listen to music. The study also showed that those who listened to music had a more positive attitude compared with patients who did not listen to any music or who listened to audio books.
The potential power of music, via the GE Healthcare MIND App, can be demonstrated through patients being able to gain some control of their situation by playing their favorite songs, singing along to them, and even creating some dance steps. Patients can also create their own music, watch music videos, and enjoy music from different countries.
The MIND App also uses visual art to encourage active engagement between the patient and caregiver. The app can involve its users through a variety of features, including a virtual art gallery, where users can observe great works of art and create their own version of masterpieces. For people living with neurological disorders, listening to music and viewing and analyzing art may stimulate the brain, trigger emotional responses, and promote social interaction. There has actually been an increase in initiatives at museums and dance studios, worldwide, that are designed for caregivers and people living with neurological disorders.
The MIND App also offers a variety of tips and advice on how caregivers can better support those for whom they are caring. In addition, a valuable benefit of the app is the possibility that the bond between patient and caregiver may be strengthened through the sharing of the app’s features.
The development of the MIND App is integral to GE Healthcare’s company-wide commitment to improve the prediction, detection, and diagnosis of neurological disorders as well as to improve the care provided to these individuals.
1Särkämö T, Tervaniemi M, Laitinen S, et al. Music listening enhances cognitive recovery and mood after middle cerebral artery stroke. Brain. 200860:866-876.