Dakim Inc, Santa Monica, Calif, introduces a new, touchscreen-based alternative for stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation that provides a rigorous workout in an entertaining interactive format, says a statement from the company.

Dakim BrainFitness transforms standardized neurological tests into thousands of game-like activities with colorful graphics, music, film clips, and friendly voiceovers, exercising six cognitive domains per session while also self-adjusting to users’ abilities in real time, says the statement.

Originally developed to help maintain brain health and combat dementia symptoms in the elderly, the Dakim brain training platform is  used by more than 300 senior living communities to provide residents with daily cognitive stimulation, says the company. The new expansion into the rehabilitation market was spurred by therapist interest and use of the system at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, to assist soldiers with TBI in regaining cognitive function.

"The feedback we’re getting from speech pathologists in particular is that Dakim BrainFitness is more enjoyable for patients than conventional workbooks and exercises. It provides a thorough cognitive workout with the appearance and humor of a TV game show, customizes the’ show’ for each user based on his or her responses, and adds variety to the therapy experience," said Dakim CEO Dan Michel, in the statement. "All of these factors help produce results by keeping users engaged."

The company says that patients with mild and severe deficits also benefit from the use of practical, real-life situations in system activities that can help simplify the transition back to home and the community, and clinicians benefit from receiving novel therapy material individualized for each patient on a daily basis, helping to reduce preparation time, increase productivity, and make each therapy session engaging and challenging.

Other  system features include:

  • No mouse, keyboard or manual software loading, eliminating the need for patients or therapists to have computer skills. Patients simply touch the screen to ‘play.’
  • Cross-training in every 20-minute session, with exercises for short- and long-term memory, critical thinking, visuospatial orientation,calculation, and language.
  • Original and often amusing activities, including anagrams, word association games, interactive puzzles, and movie clips with follow-up questions.
  • Positive verbal feedback, even when users give the wrong answers, to prevent discouragement and build self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Automatic content updates, with new exercises downloaded to the Dakim appliance over the Internet every few days to provide new activities each session.

"I have patients who ask for more than one Dakim session a day because it doesn’t feel like work and provides a distraction from their health problems," speech pathologist Katherine Sullivan, MS CCC-SLP, who has been using the system for more than a year, said in the statement. "It’s not a game, but it feels like one, and that provides a lot more motivation than conventional exercises. That alone makes it a useful addition to the therapy schedule."

The system was developed in conjunction with experts in brain health, aging, entertainment, and communications, leveraging years of research into neurological testing and the effects of cognitive stimulation, according to thte company. It is also sold for home users.

Dakim BrainFitness will be shown in Booth 1136 at the ASHA Conference in New Orleans.

[Source: Dakim Inc]