UPEI students launch new app in hopes of helping stroke victims

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Ben Docksteader is passionate about his new iPad application, which aims to help stroke patients. His special motivation was his grandfather, who suffered a stroke over 15 years ago.

UPEI computer science student Ben Docksteader and a team of young entrepreneurs this week launched their new iPad application—StrokeLink, an app with the potential to positively impact the lives of stroke patients.

The team worked over the past eight months to design, build, and test the new healthcare app and has now released the public beta in Canada.

StrokeLink is a venture of The Next 36, an organization with a goal to increase Canadian prosperity by developing Canada’s next generation of high impact entrepreneurs. Docksteader and his team of Anne-Marie Paquette, Morgan Moe, and Simon Jalbert, were all selected as four of the top 36 graduates from across Canada to be a part of the 2012 cohort of The Next 36.

StrokeLink, a free app that uses a patient-focused interface, empowers stroke survivors by providing them with the necessary tools to regain their independence. The app’s toolkit of health- reference material and its powerful tool for rehabilitation was created to guide and actively engage stroke patients as they recover, using accessible design and rich media content.

These self-care tools include rehabilitation programs with exercises ranging from fine motor skills to full body movements, and are presented as text, pictures, or videos, accompanied by audio cues.

As StrokeLink’s chief technology officer, Docksteader was eager to put his technology skills to good use, but credits the nature of the app that made him truly passionate about the work, with special motivation from his grandfather who suffered a stroke more than 15 years ago.

“Almost all of my memories of him were after his stroke, and seeing how it had serious impacts on him, my grandmother and mother,” he said. “He is one man that I sincerely look up to and respect to the utmost, and I hope that what I am doing would make him proud.”

Although Docksteader and the other company co-founders will be graduating from The Next 36 program later this month, their involvement with the product is far from over. Docksteader hopes to see StrokeLink become a standard in Canada and in the U.S., in hopes that it will impact the lives of many stroke survivors, ultimately leading to improvements within the healthcare system.

Organizations: The Next 36

Geographic location: Canada, U.S.

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