– The Aetna Foundation supports an app to help stroke survivors rehabilitate –

The team of (left to right) Heidi Feng, Katherine Tang and Sonia Lawson was cited by the Daily Record as a 2016 Innovator of the Year for its ARMStroke app.

The ubiquitous smartphone is becoming a therapeutic device for stroke survivors, thanks to a team of TU professors in computer and information sciences, and occupational therapy who developed the ARMStroke app.

The app is a rehabilitation tool used with stroke survivors who need upper arm and shoulder exercises. It not only monitors their progress, but also sends information to health care providers.    

Professors Katherine Tang and Heidi Feng of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, along with Professor Sonia Lawson of the Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science are the innovators behind this technology. Their project began with seed funding from TU’s School of Emerging Technologies.

Grant support from the Aetna Foundation, which aims to improve community access to quality health care, helped the team test and refine

the app. “The project aligns well with our program strategy by testing a potentially scalable technology in a vulnerable population,” says Alyse Sabina, the Aetna Foundation’s national program director. “We are hopeful that this work will strengthen the evidence base regarding digital health technology and its application in underserved communities.”

The Daily Record recognized the ARMStroke team as a 2016 Innovator of the Year. The team hopes the honor will educate the public about their app’s potential, encouraging more users and supporters of their project. Additional support would mean they can recruit more users, perform additional data collection and analysis, and modify the application to be used by others, such as children with physical disabilities and patients with traumatic brain injuries.

To support the ARMStroke team, visit www.towson.edu/GiveToARMStroke.