Having gotten used to carrying a task management app in my pocket for some time now, I’d struggle to get through the day without my trusty to-do list. But for a group of amnesia patients in Ontario, Canada, apps are doing a lot more than just reminding them to buy milk. They use Apple’s iPod touch as a “memory substitute.”
David Dorey is one of a number of patients who benefit from a program initiated by Baycrest called ‘The Memory Link’, which, according to TUAW, provides amnesia patients with an iPod touch and other devices as a “surrogate memory to capture, store and retrieve important thoughts.” David suffered a brain aneurysm in 2004 and without the iPod touch, he’d struggle to remember the things he does every day.
Once trained with the iPod touch, patients enter information about what happened during a day so they can recall it later. Some patients actually take photos or videos with their device to remember events they’ve experienced or people they meet.
Because of the memory issues each patient suffers, it’s imperative that they are taught to use the iPod touch in a way that won’t allow them to forget how it works.
As TUAW notes, what’s great about using the iPod touch in this way is that patients don’t have to stand out for using assistive devices — they just look like they’re walking around using their iPod. Who doesn’t do that these days?Related