iSwallow 2 App

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Have you seen that revamped version of iSwallow?  The team has updated the app and re-released it.

Here is a copy of the email sent out….

Dear iSwallow Community:

We are pleased to announce the release of iSwallow2, now available on the iTunes store for $3.99. The long awaited overhaul of iSwallow is now available for download on your iPod, iPad and iPhone mobile devices. We are grateful to the thousands of loyal iSwallow users and look forward to serving the dysphagia community for years to come. The new version combines the unique functionality of the original program with a variety of enhancements. The $3.99 cost will allow us to ensure compatibility with future iOS updates and will also permit us to improve content and develop innovative solutions to benefit our patients. We thank you for your patience and loyalty and invite you to explore the features of iSwallow2.

Eat well.

The iSwallow Team

Oral Motor by Lingraphrica App Review

App:  Oral Motor

What it is:  An app full of oral motor exercises with videos to demonstrate each exercise.

Price:  Free

System:  iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad)

Version:  3.1

SmallTalk Oral Motor Exercises is an app that was created by Lingraphica.
 
This app offers an extensive list of exercises with accompanying videos to demonstrate how to complete each exercise.
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This is an app that can be used for a home exercise program, as there is a video to demonstrate each exercise.
 
The downfall with this app is there is no way to personalize it for your patient to make it into a home exercise program.
 
This offers a wide variety of exercises and if you are an SLP that likes oral motor exercises, this is a vast array.
 

Dysphagia By Lingraphica App Review

App:  SmallTalk Dysphagia

What it is:  An app that can be used as an AAC device so that the patient can communicate about their swallowing difficulty.

Price:  Free

System:  iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad)

Version:  3.1

SmallTalk Dysphagia is an app designed for patients to use to communicate about their swallowing disorder.
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SmallTalk Dysphagia offers a variety of pre-recorded phrases that relate to a patient’s swallowing difficulty.
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The app also offers 4 videos that will first tell the technique required to swallow and then show a video demonstrating the technique.  You find this at the main menu by selecting Videos rather than Icons.  The videos are available for the Mendelsohn, the Supraglottic Swallow, the Super-Supraglottic Swallow and the Effortful Swallow.  The videos can not only be used as a reminder of how to complete each exercise, but can serve as an instructional video for care-givers and other professionals as well.

It’s a nice app and can serve a great purpose, however it cannot be personalized to a specific patient.  The patient would have to scroll through every phrase available to find the phrase they need.

Blue Tree Publishing Apps Review

App:  Aspiration Disorders

Price:  $4.99

System:  iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad)

Version:  1.2

App:  Oral Disorders

Price:  $4.99

System:  iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad)

Version:  1.1

App:  Swallow ID

Price:  $4.99

System:  iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad)

Version:  1.1

App:  Vocal Folds ID

Price:  $2.99

System:  iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad)

Version:  1.3

App:  Larynx ID

Price:  $4.99

System:  iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad)

Version:  1.1

 

App: Residue Disorders

Price:  $4.99

System:  iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad)

Version:  1.1

I typically review apps individually.  These apps by Blue Tree Publishing are all very similar, so I decided to review them at once.

If you’ve never heard of Blue Tree Publishing, they make incredible educational materials.  They started making educational apps which are great to share with patients, caregivers, physicians, nurses and anyone who may be interested.  The apps can be purchased individually or in a bundle.

Each app offers a drawing that depicts each structure/function in the title.  The drawing can be viewed still or animated.

There is text that can be used to accompany the drawing or can be removed.

With the swallowing apps, Aspiration Disorders, Oral Disorders, Swallow ID and Residue Disorders, a video of a modified barium swallow study showing the dysfunction is included on each app.  With the Aspiration Disorders app there is also a FEES video available of aspiration.

The Larynx ID does not have videos, but does have nice animations to show the muscle functions and the structures, including how they move.  Vocal Folds ID does have a video available showing the movement of the vocal cords during phonation.

These apps are definitely worth the money if you need a great educational app.

iSwallow App Review

App: iSwallow

What it is: An app that allows your patient to track exercises, keep a journal of exercises and watch videos with demonstrations of various swallowing exercises.

Price: Free

System: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Version: 1.0.1

iSwallow is an app that was created by U.C. Davis. iSwallow does require a password, obtained by emailing the app creators to modify/add/delete exercises to the regimen.

iSwallow contains a list of thirteen swallowing exercises, including the Mendelsohn Manuever, the Masako, tongue resistance, effortful swallow, tongue range of motion, isometric shaker, isokinetic shaker, vocal exercises (pitch glide), gum chew exercise, lollipop swallows (lick a lollipop a set number of times and then swallow), jaw thrust, tongue and throat shaping (using a bite block to “shape” for swallowing while saying various vowel sounds), swallow amplitude (using a microphone and device). Each exercise can be programmed for the particular patient including repetitions, repetitions per part of exercise and can be set according to the time of day.

The patient can keep a journal of each exercise. The exercises are to be set-up by the Speech Language Pathologist and the patient will complete each exercise at home. When the regimen is complete, the patient will mark that they completed the exercise fully, partially or not at all. Each exercise, with the exception of the the tongue and throat shaping exercise has videos that can be viewed in the instructions section of the app or when completing the exercise. The tongue and throat shaping has a written explanation of the exercise.

As a clinician, you can then look at the app and see if your patient has completed their exercises or not.

I think this would be a great app, if your patient owned their own i device. You can download the app on the iPhone, iPod Touch or the iPad to be used at home as a home exercise program. If your patient does not have an i device, then this app could not be used for a home exercise program, unless you are willing to loan out a device.

                                     

Some clinicians have stated that they use the video instruction function of the app to instruct their patients on the exercise during a therapy session. The obstacle I have seen with this, is that my patient’s prefer to have a live model. That way, they can see up close and personal what is happening and I can slow down or modify the exercise per my patient needs.

Personally, I use very few of these exercises with my patients. I tend to use the Masako, the Mendelsohn and the effortful swallow with patients. I often modify the Shaker and use more of a Chin Tuck Against Resistance method. I do use lingual range of motion exercises depending on the patient needs and the diagnosis. I do use lingual exercises with resistance as well, however I tend to use the method used in Dr. Robbin’s research using a tongue depressor and having the patient elevate their tongue against resistance, protrude their tongue against resistance and lateralize their tongue against resistance.

Cranial Nerves: App Review

App:  Cranial Nerves:  Pocket Clinical Resource

Price:  $2.99

What it is:  An incredibly simple app to use to learn and look up information on cranial nerves.

System:  iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Version:  1.2.4

Let me start off by saying:  I LOVE THIS APP!

I was referenced to a cranial nerve app which was $60.  I thought to myself there has to be a less expensive version that I can utilize just as easily.

I found the app!

We’re told often to complete a cranial nerve assessment, especially looking at neuro patients including CVA and patients with dysphagia.

Cranial nerves can be daunting and scary.  They don’t have to be!

Along the left side of your iPad (for that version of the app), you have a list of the nerves by roman numeral.  Touch the roman numeral corresponding to the cranial nerve you are trying to find.

You will find a full description of that nerve:  function, nerve tract, integrity tests, symptoms and signs and images.

Yes!  This app will tell you how to test the nerve and symptoms signs if the nerve is not intact.

Sometimes there just is not enough information.  If you are a Google/Wikipedia fan like me, then this app was designed for you.  You might notice at the top of the description of the nerve in the above picture, there is a box icon, a G icon, a globe icon and a picture icon.  If you have internet access, touch the G icon.  Amazingly you will be directed to a Google search of that nerve.  Similarly, touch the globe icon (third from the left) and you will be directed to a Wikipedia search of that nerve.

This app can be used as a learning tool and a quick reference when you just can’t remember what that nerve is for or how to test it!

This is a 5-star app in my book!