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Apps for Spinal Cord Injury

There are literally thousands of different apps available through the iTunes store. Finding app that are specifically designed for people with a spinal cord injury can be a daunting task. The following are some apps which may be useful in your search. They cover everything from knowledge to voice-recognition and other common needs.


Voice Camera Pro ($1.99)

Voice Camera Pro, which does exactly what you think, plus a little bit more. First, you can say “camera” to turn the camera on and “shoot” to take a photo, but you can also say “double,” “triple,” and “quad” to take a series of sequential photos.


Dragon Go! (Free)

Here’s a fun one: Siri herself doesn’t actually manage voice recognition — a module provided by Nuance does that, and then hands your utterances along to Siri once it’s worked out what you’re trying to say. Dragon Go is made by Nuance, and thus it is just as accurate as Siri… but it’s nowhere near as polished or full-featured.

Dragon Go is basically a voice interface to a bunch of web services, including Wolfram Alpha, Google, Yelp, Google Maps, and so on. It also interfaces with Pandora, Spotify, and Netflix if they’re installed. There’s also Dragon Diction, which is all about dictating messages or longer notes. You can then send your voice-recognized musing via email, Twitter, Facebook, or SMS. Dragon Search allows you to search the web, YoutTube, and iTunes easily using your voice.


Built-in Voice Control (Free)

If you want to make (almost) hands-free calls in the car, iOS’s built-in Voice Control is your best bet: press and hold the Home button (or the equivalent on your headset), you’ll hear a beep, and then speak your command. If you want to call someone, say “call” or “dial” followed by their name or number, or you can even initiate a FaceTime connection by saying “FaceTime” and then a name and location (iPhone, home, and so on). To make this hands-free, you simply need to purchase the Blue Ant speakerphone which can attached to the wheelchair and provides truly hands-free usage of Siri.


Built-in Voice Control can manipulate your music playback, too (but only the iPod app). Use “play” followed by the name of a song, album, playlist or artist — and you can also “what” and “who” to find out what song/artist is currently playing, or “genius” to have your iDevice pick a new, similar song for you.



Feeling stiff and achy? This app was designed to provide useful tips to those who sit for prolonged periods of time due to immobility, occupation or travel requirements. iStretch helps users focus on technique and breathe. These easy-to-follow exercises can be done anywhere, anytime.

Optimized for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

A Special Phone - This app was produced specifically for people with disabilities in order to make calling friends, family and loved ones fast and easy. To make a call, simply open the app, type in the number on the magnified keypad and shake the phone or press call. For speed dialing, users can save up to 6 contacts which can be reached through shaking the phone once for contact 1, twice for contact 2 and so on. The contact's name will be spoken to you and the phone will dial the contact automatically. It also has the capability to recognize voice commands in different languages and dialects even in situations where there is a lot of background noise.

Dragon Search - Use your voice to state commands that will send you through the waves of the web. Perfect for someone with very limited mobility. Just open the app, click the “tap to talk button” and voice your desired search engine/website such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, iTunes, Twitter Search and Wikipedia. 

Dragon Diction - By the same people that brought you Dragon Search, this app allows you to write email and text messages through the sound of your voice. It doesn't matter the length of your message, it can range from a quick “Hello!” to a lengthy email. You can even update your Facebook status and Tweet. It is up to five times faster than typing which will save you the time and the hassle. 

QwikList Voice - Ideal for those with limited mobility, QwikList Voice is a voice controlled app that allows the user to create lists, send and reply to text messages, or add an event to Google Calendar. It also has the unique option to add items to your shopping list by scanning barcodes. With available alerts to remind you what is next on your to-do list, organization will become second nature to you. 

CathNow - CathNow is a free smartphone app that reminds you when to cath. Link: www.cathnow.com


Wheelmate - Find the best accessible restrooms and parking spaces in your area.  Play your part and start adding locations today.

Webtalk - This voice enabled Internet browser lets you surf the web in a few easy steps. If you have your hands tied by other daily tasks, you can use this app to listen to articles on sites such as cnn.com. This app reads the text from selected websites so you have the freedom to continue with your daily activities while being updated on the latest news. 

BigNames- Dialing numbers on a tiny keyboard can be challenging for anyone. Big Names is an app that enlarges contacts for easy, visible dialing. It shows your current contact list in an extra-large type font making calling less of a hassle.


Help Me Now! GPS Phone Tracker- Sometimes you may get lost or need a friend to assist you as soon as possible, this app is great to have for emergencies. The GPS tracking device will send a message to your selected contacts containing your location.


Touch Trainer- Tapping the intended icon on the screen may initially be a challenge for someone newly injured, but this app encourages the user to keep trying. Sounds and animations will appear to signify when the appropriate icon is precisely touched. As the user masters each level, the icon will slowly decrease in size to effectively challenge the user, and in effect hone his/her fine motor skills.

For:  iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Price: $6.99

Link: itunes.apple.com


Breathe - Many of those who have suffered from spinal cord injury have difficulty controlling their breathing at first and may continue to have breathing complications. Along with rehabilitation, this app guides the user through exercises to control their breathing through varied breathing patterns. It also serves as a means of relaxation and meditation with colorful, entrancing graphics.


Instant Heart Rate- Maintaining a healthy heart rate is important for a wheelchair user. By holding up your index finger to the device's camera for approximately 10 seconds, the app will get a reading on your heart rate, and compare it to the range you should be in based on your age. *Note: Your device needs to have a camera.


Physiotherapy Exercises- This app displays over 600 exercises for people with spinal cord injuries and other neurological conditions. You can filter the search through a variety of categories such as condition, body part, equipment available and age categories. The purpose of this app is to improve strength, flexibility and fitness. It was created to promote an independent lifestyle by creating exercises that do not require manual handling from physical therapists.


RaceYourWorld Pro- With a setting specifically for wheelchair users, this app organizes and saves paths from your workouts and records and stores your personal statistics of each workout. The information is automatically sent to raceyourworld.com where a user profile must be made in order to see the results of previous workouts. These statistics are then submitted to the website's global competition which enables you to compare your statistics with the rest of the world. This app is ideal for an individual at any level of athleticism that is looking to monitor and improve their athletic performance.


Chronic Pain Tracker- Does just what the name says! This app allows users to track where their chronic pain is located, the level and a description of the problem area. It even keeps track of your medications. With this app, you will be able to tell your doctor specifics of your pain so they can treat you accordingly.


Diabetes Buddy Lite - Diabetes is a concern among individuals living with paralysis and maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is important. This app keeps track of your blood sugar level, allowing you to notice any potential patterns in your level as it changes. You can even input other relevant information including your weight, glucose, consumption of both carbs and water, and any injections you may use.


HeartWise Blood Pressure Tracker- People with SCI have a higher risk of contracting heart disease at an earlier age than the rest of the population. They are subject to autonomic dysreflexia, a potentially life threatening emergency that could lead to stroke. High blood pressure is a symptom of AD. Fight the statistic by monitoring your blood pressure by tracking it, charting it, even tracking diet and exercise changes to see how those affect your rates in diastolic and systolic pressure.


Pillbox Alert- Keep track of the pills you have to take throughout the day by utilizing this app. Set one or a series of alarms that remind you what pill to take, the quantity and the time to take your medication or supplements.


Rxmind Me Prescription / Medicine Reminder and Pill Tracker

Do you have trouble keeping track of all of your medications? Rxmind Me Prescription app reminds you when to take them, and allows you to check off when you have. There is over half a dozen options for reminders, including hourly and weekly.


CitiRollers - This app, made specifically for wheelchair users, is a guide to navigating cities on wheels. The tool allows users to locate, add and rate accessible points of interest such as restrooms, public transportation, restaurants, cafes, and wheelchair supply & repair shops. Version 1.0 of CitiRoller features location data for Boston, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., along with user-addition functionality for national and international locations.

All About Wheelchairs- Discover Everything About Wheelchairs -- What You Should Know BEFORE You Buy! You will be amazed at the different types of wheelchairs that are available.


The Americans with Disabilities Act Reference- To ensure that Americans living with disabilities have the same quality of and level of respect that those able-bodied Americans have, this app sums up the 1990 Act in an easy to manage format. Features include A.D.A. guidelines and frequently asked questions making it simple for viewers to be assured that business and individuals comply with the law.


Spinal Cord Encyclopedia - These apps encompass everything you need to know about the spinal cord, complete with pictures, graphics. It is a simple, compact way to get the information you desire. Features do vary.

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Tags: Cord, ITunes, Injury, SCI, Spinal, apps


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