About The mindMender Project.

The mindMender Project began after I started visiting my friend Larry in a rehabilitative hospital.  Larry is either in bed or in a wheelchair having lost much of his upper and lower body mobility due to multiple strokes. He also suffers from dysphagia and experiences a couple bouts of pneumonia every year.  And he is completely lucid.

I, on the other hand, am a fully mobile computer nerd. I started bringing my iPad for him to play games in hope of improving his upper body mobility. Even though I'm not a medical professional I wanted to do something to help. That was when I discovered there were no apps designed for stroke survivors.  Most of the games are too complex and don't provide useful data over time to show improvement or help diagnose deficiencies.  Sure he could pop some bubbles and play tic-tac-toe but they didn't provide any useful data.

I also began to read up on neuroplasticity and the brains ability to use healthy cells to cover for those that have been damaged. I began learning about Constraint Induced Therapy and how increasingly difficult repetitive movements triggers plasticity in the brain to do its magic. 

I also began to realize the subjective nature of evaluation. Although one therapist might see improvement in a patient, another may not. This can be significant when determining if treatment should continue and if insurance will continue to pay. There needed to be a better way.  I had to figure out how to create something on the iPad that would provide therapy for the stroke survivor and valuable objective data for the clinician. So I bought an iPad and a Mac and learned how to program apps for the iPad.

Ultimately my goal is to raise awareness of the need for therapeutic games on mobile devices that are also diagnostic.

Larry is still in the hospital.  Unfortunately my apps did not get finished in time before his condition began to deteriorate but I remain hopeful that a window will open and I will be able to help him reverse his downward trend.