Monday, November 5, 2012

Canadian brain injury center wants your used smartphone!

Dear readers,

Community Head Injury Resources Services of Toronto (CHIRS), recently launched a new and unique rehabilitation initiative called the cTech program that uses mobile technologies (e.g. iPhone, smartphones & tablets) to assist in acquired brain injury (ABI) rehabilitation. The program utilizes a host of strategies that range from group learning and peer mentorship to errorless learning to help clients make use of innovative technologies to compensate for their cognitive impairments.

As part of the initiative, CHIRS is giving away donated devices to persons with  an ABI enrolled in the program.

We are asking you to consider donating your used smartphones or tablets to the cTech program. Once the device is received, it will be inspected, cleaned and purged of private data. A letter will then be sent to the donor. A Canadian tax credit corresponding to the value of the device will then be issued before tax season.

Did you know that CHIRS originally known as the Ashby House, was the first community-based brain injury rehabilitation program in North America? CHIRS is a registered not-for-profit charitable organization that aims to improve the quality of life for people living with the effects of acquired brain injury (ABI).

The cTech program is proud to offer Memory-Link  pioneered by Dr. Brian Richards at Baycrest Hospital [watch the youtube video].

Please share this message with others!

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Sylvain Roy, C.Psych.
Clinical Neuropsychologist
Community Head Injury Resource Services
62 Finch Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M2N 7G1
Tel: (416) 240-8000

Saturday, August 25, 2012

iOS app review: The therapy Outcome Management System

I recently discovered a cleverly designed iOS app designed to assess therapy outcome. The app is easy to use, secure and useful for monitoring a client's progress during therapy.

TOMS contains the Outcome Ratings Scale (Miller & Duncan, 2000), which looks at the client's well-being (overall, personal, family, and social) and the Session Rating Scale (Johnson, Miller & Duncan, 2000), which quickly evaluates patients' experience during a session (e.g., quality of the relationship, client-therapist fit, etc.).

The app is password protected and adequately organizes your client files. Client profiles are easily added, the questionaire are quickly administered, the rating scales are easy to navigate, and a graph allows you to see progress over time. An email feature is provided if you wish to export the data.

For more information visit the TOMS web site [here]
Download the app from the US App store [here] for $14.99

Sylvain Roy, Ph.D., neuropsychologist
Linked-In [profile]
Follow on Twitter @ PsychMobiletTech

If you could get your mobile device to do one thing, what would it be?

Friendly professional survey:

I use smartphones and tablets for brain injury rehabilitation and assessments.

If you could get your mobile device to do one thing, what would it be?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Android App review : ASK before it's too late. Prevent suicide.

Suicidal risk or tentative is an intricate part of any mental health professional. Having to promote life in suicidal patient is delicate and sometimes complex thing to do.  Considering the prevalence numbers in our western societies, having more tools seems a necessity. 

This program has no cool graphics, no interactivity, and no more information than a web page.  So why would we bother talking about it?  Simply because it does what it’s supposed to do:  create a one click access to important information and to get immediate support. 

The ASK & Prevent Suicide app provides basic information about suicidal risk for patient and their loved ones.  Having the information readily available in your pocket will diminish steps needed to get help (in turn increase the likelihood of getting help).  A plus, is that it’s always available, even if you don’t have a WiFi or data connection.  The ASK & Prevent Suicide app also offers hotline numbers for Suicide Prevention, for Veterans and for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning.  One click and you’re on the phone with the proper hotline.  These hotlines are only available in the United States.

Having more people armed to face suicidal risks will only help to save lives.

Jocelyn Morettini
Health Psychologist / Neuropsychologist
View Jocelyn Morettini's [LinkedIn] page

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dropbox for iOS and Android: A great way to share files, but is it secure enough for health professionals?

I recently installed dropbox on several of my devices (Android tablet, iPhone, Dell Windows 7 laptop and Macbook pro).

I was immediately amazed at how easy it became to share files (e-books, PowerPoint presentations, documents, videos etc.) to all my devices and my colleagues. I could now download a few articles at home, put them in my dropbox and read them on the train on my way to work. No more need for my usb memory stick and no more headaches when trying to get files on my iPad or iPhone.

I was left with one question. What about the  privacy and confidentiality settings. I have always been cautious when using cloud base services because I am hesitant about letting others safeguard my confidential information.

Unfortunately Dropbox is not currently HIPAA compliant, but I was surprised to see that it was sensitive to the issue. Further diligence should be exercised when using mobile devices as well. As is described in their Security overview page "Your files are sent between Dropbox’s mobile apps and our servers over a secure channel using 256-bit SSL encryption where supported. Not all mobile media players support encrypted streaming, so media files streamed from our servers are not always encrypted".

Overall, I am happy with Dropbox. It will help my colleagues and I share non confidential information easily and help us increase productivity. You may be interested in how Dropbox compares to competitors such as Microsoft (SkyDrive) and Google (Google Drive) on proprietary matters. Here is a legal commentary on who owns your data by John Halton and Kathryn Leslie.

If you want to try Dropbox [Click here] - It's free and very easy to use.
Sylvain Roy, Ph.D
Join me on LinkedIn
Follow us on Twitter @ PsychMobileTech

Sunday, February 12, 2012

iOS app review : Dell Voice offers free Canadian phone numbers with free long distance calls

During my discussions with clients and professionals, I am frequently asked if there is an app to make free phone calls from iPods, iPhones or Android devices. I always say yes, and that I had tested a few of them. The United States has been fortunate to have Google Voice to make free calls to the US and Canada. Talkatone is an app that takes advantage of this service. Getting a free Google Voice number is however a little difficult for Canadians to obtain (you need a valid US number for the activation).

As such, Canadians have been left with low cost alternatives such as Skype and Nettalk and Talkatone (with Google Talk only) for outgoing calls. There was no easy way to get a Canadian number for incoming calls, until now. Dell Canada has paired up Fongo to provide a unique Canadian experience. the new app is called Dell Voice.

Dell Voice is very easy to setup. Simply download the free app from the Apple app store. Once installed, tap "register". You will be brought to the next page and Canada will be set a the default. Tap continue. You will then need to provide a valid email account, a contact phone number, set a password and enter the capcha, then click continue. An email will be sent to you. Go to your email and click the activation link and follow the online instructions. Once you are complete, go back into Dell Voice and enter your email and password and voila! you will have a free phone.

The pro's of the phone are:
  1. Decent call quality over wifi/3g.
  2. It's free and you can call many cities in the US and Canada for free.
  3. You get a real Canadian number.
  4. Even if the app is turned off, your phone will ring.
  5. It's easy to setup.
  6. It doesn't use a lot of data.
  7. Free voice mail service.
The con's of the phone are:
  1. Some static or choppy quality when the 3g connection is weak.
  2. If the app is powered off, your phone will ring but you will miss the call due to the delay (will go to voice mail).
  3. Sometimes, you will need to log off and log back in to use the phone (will not fully activate)
  4. Ads from Dell (I can live with this).
  5. No texting option (I recommend downloading Text+ for the free texting equivalent).
Overall, the pro's in my opinion outweigh the cons. My clients love the app because their cell phone bills can stay at approximately $20 / month by combining Dell Voice with their Bell Canada 3g data tablet plan. It's not perfect, but as my clients say. It beat spaying $75+ dollars every month.

You can download the app [here]
Sylvain Roy, Ph.D
Join me on LinkedIn
Follow us on Twitter @ PsychMobileTech

Sunday, January 22, 2012

iOS app review: iTunes U - Bringing free university lectures to your iPhone

Hello everyone, I just stumbled on a great app called iTunes U. It's filled with great psychology talks and lectures! It's perfect if your looking for a refresher course or if you are looking to learn something entirely new. Simply search for psychology or counseling (or the topics of your choice) by tapping the magnifying glass at the bottom right of the page, tap on the title, then tap on "free" to download the audio or video file. Once the download begins, you can start listening to it immediately by tapping on the title (it needs a few seconds to buffer). Have a look and tell me what you think. It's Free!

You can download the app [here]

Sylvain Roy, Ph.D.