Assistive Technology: Cognition Products

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Original Editors - Joseph Ayotunde Aderonmu

Top Contributors - Joseph Ayotunde Aderonmu, Naomi O'Reilly and Kim Jackson      

Introduction[edit | edit source]


A series of conditions such as stroke, dyslexia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple sclerosis, traumatic  brain injury can impair an individual's cognition, which can lead to the requirement of assistive technology (AT).[1]  Due to this, AT has been widely employed in rehabilitation for these conditions to compensate for cognitive impairments.[2] Broadly, cognitive aids increase the functional independence of individuals with deficits in cognitive processing by helping to support the completion of functional activities in the individual's natural environment.[3]  Also, cognition products help to reduce caregiver burden through enhancing the ability of the individual to perform more independent functions.[4] Additionally, cognition products aid the reduction of the digital lapse that exists for individuals with cognitive impairments by increasing their adaptation and use of the vast benefits provided by technology.[5]

Cognition products used as assistive technology are generally referred to as "assistive technology for cognition (ATC), cognitive orthoses, and cognitive prosthetics.[6][7]

Evidence[edit | edit source]

A review[6] that covered a twenty-year period concluded that technological devices could benefit patients with cognitive impairment to participate in activities they would otherwise be able to do. Furthermore, a practice guideline[7] also concluded that the utilization of external aid should be a standard practice in treating acquired brain injury. Another review[8] published in 2009 revealed that AT is widely used for cognition among community-dwelling adults with multiple sclerosis. However, it called for further studies to be done on its efficacy. In another systematic review,[9] assistive technology for cognition was used to supplement cognitive functions related to attention, calculation, memory, planning, time management and emotion. In 2016, another systematic review that investigated the relationship between cognitive impairment and assistive device use in elderly persons showed that “cognitively impaired elderly patients were more likely to use assistive devices ineffectively than cognitively intact elders."[10]

Cognitive Products[edit | edit source]

Different devices help enhance cognitive functions based on individual need. Some of these products are given below.

Memory Aid.jpeg

Cueing/Memory Aids[edit | edit source]

These products aid individuals with cognitive limitations achieve essential tasks such as recalling information, appointments or steps to accomplish activities.[1]

Examples include watches that vibrate to remind a user about a task, audio note-takers, etc.

Educational Software[edit | edit source]

Educational Softwares.jpeg

They are designed to assist individuals with cognitive limitations to receive digital information in different formats such as multisensory outputs, dictionaries for definitions and mind mapping.[1]

Speech Recognition[edit | edit source]

Speech Recognition.png

This helps individuals in their day-to-day computer use tasks. It can be used for typing, browsing, sending emails and messages, and any job that can be achieved by using a computer keyboard and mouse.[1]

Voice Recorders[edit | edit source]

Voice recorder.jpeg

They use the microphone to record audio information and store it in digital formats. They then can sort the audio files, arrange them in folders and download the information on a computer.[1]

Word Prediction Software[edit | edit source]

Word prediction.gif

This device assists individuals by allowing the recall of the required words, improving grammar and sentence structure based on the contextual meaning of the sentence.1

Personal Digital Assistant[edit | edit source]


A task management tool that assists in performing everyday tasks. It can help with keeping up with appointments, home chores, assignments and much more.[11]

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

The importance of assistive technology for cognition are undoubtedly immersing. Yet, further studies that will determine their efficacy and utilization across different populations should be carried out. Also, healthcare professionals involved in rehabilitation should be well conversant in their use and application to ensure efficient prescription and use of these devices for patients who would benefit from their use.

Resource[edit | edit source]


References [edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program. (n.d.). Accommodations solutions: Cognitive. Available at: Accessed: 20 May,2021
  2. Wilson DJ, Mitchell JM, Kemp BJ, Adkins RH, Mann W. Effects of assistive technology on functional decline in people ageing with a disability. Assistive Technology. 2009 Nov 19;21(4):208-17.
  3. Sohlberg MM. Assistive technology for cognition. The ASHA Leader. 2011 Feb;16(2):14-7.
  4. Frank Lopresti E, Mihailidis A, Kirsch N. Assistive technology for cognitive rehabilitation: State of the art. Neuropsychological rehabilitation. 2004 Mar 1;14(1-2):5-39.
  5. Moore Sohlberg M, Fickas S, Ehlhardt L, Todis B. The longitudinal effects of accessible email for individuals with severe cognitive impairments. Aphasiology. 2005 July 1;19(7):651-81.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Cole E. Cognitive prosthetics: an overview to a method of treatment. NeuroRehabilitation. 1999 January 1;12(1):39-51.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Frank Lopresti E, Mihailidis A, Kirsch N. Assistive technology for cognitive rehabilitation: State of the art. Neuropsychological rehabilitation. 2004 Mar 1;14(1-2):5-39.
  8. Johnson KL, Bamer AM, Yorkston KM, Amtmann D. Use of cognitive aids and other assistive technology by individuals with multiple sclerosis. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. 2009 January 1;4(1):1-8.
  9. Gillespie A, Best C, O'Neill B. Cognitive function and assistive technology for cognition: A review. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. 2012;18(1):1-9.
  10. Alkadri J, Jutai J. Cognitive impairment and assistive devices: Outcomes and adverse effects. Journal of rehabilitation and assistive technologies engineering. 2016 Sep;3:2055668316668146.
  11. Gentry T, Wallace J, Kvarfordt C, Lynch KB. Personal digital assistants as cognitive aids for high school students with autism: Results of a community-based trial. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation. 2010 January 1;32(2):101-7.
  12. Accommodation Solution Highlight: Speech Recognition Software. TheDoDCap.