Development and Evaluation of a New Tablet Computer Application for the Therapy of Brain-Injured Patients with Aphasia

Januth, Silvan; Mitache, Vladimir Andrei (2015). Development and Evaluation of a New Tablet Computer Application for the Therapy of Brain-Injured Patients with Aphasia (Unpublished). (Dissertation, ARTORG - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine)

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Language is the most important mean of communication and plays a central role in our everyday life. Brain damage (e.g. stroke) can lead to acquired disorders of lan- guage affecting the four linguistic modalities (i.e. reading, writing, speech production and comprehension) in different combinations and levels of severity. Every year, more than 5000 people (Aphasie Suisse) are affected by aphasia in Switzerland alone. Since aphasia is highly individual, the level of difficulty and the content of tasks have to be adapted continuously by the speech therapists. Computer-based assignments allow patients to train independently at home and thus increasing the frequency of ther- apy. Recent developments in tablet computers have opened new opportunities to use these devices for rehabilitation purposes. Especially older people, who have no prior experience with computers, can benefit from the new technologies.

The aim of this project was to develop an application that enables patients to train language related tasks autonomously and, on the other hand, allows speech therapists to assign exercises to the patients and to track their results online. Seven categories with various types of assignments were implemented. The application has two parts which are separated by a user management system into a patient interface and a therapist interface. Both interfaces were evaluated using the SUS (Subject Usability Scale). The patient interface was tested by 15 healthy controls and 5 patients. For the patients, we also collected tracking data for further analysis. The therapist interface was evaluated by 5 speech therapists.

The SUS score are xpatients = 98 and xhealthy = 92.7 (median = 95, SD = 7, 95% CI [88.8, 96.6]) in case of the patient interface and xtherapists = 68 in case of the therapist interface.

Both, the patients and the healthy subjects, attested high SUS scores to the patient interface. These scores are considered as "best imaginable". The therapist interface got a lower SUS score compared to the patient interface, but is still considered as "good" and "usable". The user tracking system and the interviews revealed that there is room for improvements and inspired new ideas for future versions.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DCR Unit Sahli Building > Forschungsgruppe Neurologie

UniBE Contributor:

Januth, Silvan, Mitache, Vladimir Andrei, Nef, Tobias, Müri, René Martin, Mosimann, Urs Peter


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




Silvan Januth

Date Deposited:

28 Oct 2015 08:49

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:49




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