Giving the Brain Some Help: Mobile Apps to Assist Brain Injury Victims

A head injury that damages functions of the brain – a traumatic brain injury or TBI – can leave the victim with lasting problems affecting memory, speech, cognition, emotions, social behavior and more. But as our computerized world mimics human thought more and more, technology has begun to provide valuable assistance to people who suffer these types of disabilities.

Apps available for smartphones, tablets and similar devices offer a world of support for TBI victims.

Drawing from several sources, we have rounded up 10 apps that can make life better for TBI victims.

ICE (In Case of Emergency)

Multiple versions
Free and up
Assistance: emergency communication, medical care

Several ICE apps store the user’s personal identification and emergency medical and contact information. Free versions allow you to store the basic information. As you pay more, you have more options and storage capacity, such as health insurance information, medical conditions, medications, allergies, blood type and immunization records. Some apps also include additional features, such as hospital locator services.

Yes and No Button and Answers

iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Free and $3.99
Assistance: communication, motor planning

The simplest versions of this application offer large buttons the user can press to answer “yes” or “no.” The more complex version offers the yes/no feature and 24 additional buttons that can be pre-programmed with text, photos or audio. This eliminates the difficulty of forming words, but allows the user to answer in their own pre-recorded voice.

Dragon Dictation

iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Assistance: communication, fine motor skills

This voice-to-text app allows those whose injury makes them unable to type create email, SMS texts, notes and social network posts by speaking. The clipboard feature allows the user to copy and paste text into any application. The voice-driven correction interface provides a list of suggested words for editing purposes.


iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch
Assistance: memory, organization

EverNote is an electronic notepad that can be synced with multiple devices and is searchable. It helps the user focus as they create and store checklists and other documents and photos, or record audio reminders. The search function is invaluable to those with recall problems.


iPhone, iPad, Android
Assistance: stress management

Breathe2Relax helps users manage stress through diaphragmatic breathing exercises. The user can turn to the app to measure their stress level and then follow audio instructions for relaxing. It provides a soothing voice and assistance for a TBI sufferer with post-traumatic stress or who becomes overwhelmed by day-to-day activity. Breathe2Relax was developed by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, a component of the Defense Department’s Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE).

Social Skills Sampler

iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Assistance: education, social interaction

Sixty-two videos model a variety of social interactions, such as meeting and greeting people, joining groups, apologizing, being polite, following directions and handling criticism. These depictions can jog memories or re-teach TBI sufferers the socially correct manner of dealing with people around them.

Spaced Retrieval Therapy

iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Assistance: memory training

The app’s program uses prompts and timed intervals before providing the answer to help the user increase their recall capacity. It tracks and stores data to keep a record of progress. Spaced-retrieval training is a scientifically proven therapy for treating individuals with memory problems due to TBI, dementia or other impairments.

ClearRecord Lite and Premium

iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android
Free and $.99
Assistance: communication, hearing, memory

The audio recording and playback app includes an ambient-noise reduction feature that makes it useful for recording conversations, classroom lectures, speeches or other verbal presentations in a variety of settings to rehear them clearly at the user’s convenience. The user can control the speed and pitch of recordings without losing clarity. The premium version offers more playback speeds and recording frequencies suitable for voice and music.

Keep it Green

iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Assistance: memory, scheduling, habit builder

Keep it Green helps the user get organized by allowing them to enter recurring tasks they want to perform and to receive reminders when it’s time to follow through. The app lets the user prioritize tasks and tracks completion toward building habits, and even advises the user about what tasks can be put off. Therapists can help patients prioritize tasks as they program the app.

Cozi Family Organizer

iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows 8.1
Assistance: memory, organization, scheduling

This app helps the TBI victim keep up with others in his or her life, such as family members and other caregivers. For example, calendars can advise the user when to expect their spouse, children or others to come home, or when they are to see a therapist. Multiple users of the app can share schedules and send immediate notifications to ensure timely updates as inevitable changes occur.

If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury caused by the fault of another person, a brain injury attorney can explain your legal options to receive compensation to help with your recovery.

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