Design and manufacturing
The demo version can be downloaded on Android and iOS in the corresponding download spaces. To use the application, a prior registration with email is required, through which the user manual is received. This process of acquisition, download and installation seems very simple and easy to access.
The format of the manual is adequate and uses simple and understandable language.
The Stimulus application is really intended for people with cognitive impairment, and the ease of use to establish the sessions, allows people with little technical knowledge to use them. It satisfies the objective for which it is designed, although due to the characteristics of the profile of the person to whom it is addressed, someone with cognitive impairment or initial stages of Alzheimer's, the scenario of use and management with a caregiver or family member next to us, seems timely.
The potential user profile is higher in a preventive phase of cognitive deterioration. In the case of those people who already do therapeutic sessions with qualified personnel or caregivers, it is advisable to carry out the intervention accompanied by this figure. People with loneliness or who are in a situation of isolation can also benefit from the application because it also has an important playful aspect that favors entertainment.
In the first access to the application, the information is displayed organized by content blocks:
Stimulus screen image
- A first line where the access data to the application and administration data of the user are.
- The buttons to access the management of schedules and their results.
- Access section to free access exercises.
The latest version of the application was made in January 2018, after which it has maintenance and a product run. In the download information, they are in the interval between 5.000 – 10.000, according to the information from Google Play.
The Stimulus solution is recognized by success stories such as the Diputación de Málaga, Jaén and the Valencian Community. In all these cases, they have been branded through public initiatives of social services and associations of relatives of people with Alzheimer's.
The application works correctly with Android 4.0.3 and higher versions, as well as with IOS. The tests have been carried out with a Samsung Tablet and it has always worked well, responding to the expected operation.
During the testing time, no error or unexpected failure in the basic operation has been identified. When doing a large load of sessions or doing several in a row, the Stimulus solution works reliably.
The application does not need to be connected to the Internet all the time to function, which provides an important advantage for its portability and mobility. Battery consumption when using the application is optimized, and from what we can see in the new version that has been uploaded to Google Play, this has been improved.
The security aspects have seemed fundamental to us, since they allow a registration process, and confirmation through email.
The application is intended to be used only through a Tablet or IPad, perhaps having a Lite option for mobile could be an advantage for users.
The sections displayed on the screen are accompanied by icons and their textual title.
In relation to the exercises, point out that they are organized by cognitive areas, identified by colors associated with each of them.
At the time of conducting a session, you can program between 4 minutes and a half an hour. What we have done when testing the application is to increase the handling time of the sessions for our validating users.
Image of selection of the possibilities of Stimulus Home
The realization of a planning has seemed simple to us, first a time dedicated to the game session is predefined and it is selected if you want self-administered and what level of literacy you have.
The levels of complexity of the exercises are adapted to the level of deterioration of the person. It is highly valued that their planning is carried out with a scientific basis that makes it easier for family members and caregivers to manage it:
Stimulus screen with the exercises of a session
The activities as such have seemed very complete:
- First, they make a textual description of what that exercise consists of.
- Below is a demo of the operation of the concrete, visual, textual and by locution exercise.
- The activity begins directly, from the level that is proposed.
During the interval of the activity you can pause at any time, being able to resume it whenever you want.
The Stimulus product is aimed at older people in initial phases of cognitive impairment, for this profile the organization and planning offered by Stimulus is very appropriate. We see that the tool as such, with other types of sessions, could be of help for other groups, for example with intellectual disabilities, etc ...
We have tested compatibility with virtual mice, and although the application is not 100% optimized for it, navigation is possible.
- There is the option of using an online demo of the tool to get closer to the reality of the application's possibilities.
- Wide repository of activities organized by cognitive areas and levels of difficulty. The feeling towards the end user is of an interesting variety.
- The levels of the exercises are adjusted to the experience of the person.
- The person's level of literacy is taken into account when adapting the sessions to their profile.
- The planning of the sessions can be done without having extensive technological experience, since it easily filters the areas and levels of difficulty, also by the duration of the complete session and the maximum time to give an answer.
- The sessions can be monitored based on some indicators that are defined by the application, so both the caregiver and the user can know how the exercises are progressing. Not only are hits and misses recorded, but also response times or omissions.
- The application design is very intuitive and easy to use.
- The exercises are accompanied by auditory locutions to help them be carried out.
- A more interactive and visual interface for people without impairment could be valued.
- Have the option of a "configurable Audio" with different types of locutions: woman/man/child
- For older active profiles, having the possibility of seeing the results of other people or relatives, for example: that a grandson can also have a session and share it with his grandparents.