Ohio State explores how app aids patients

A mobile app studied by researchers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center could help young athletes struggling with concussion recovery. 

Using an app is counter to most traditional concussion treatment advice, which calls for patients to avoid reading and screen time. But researchers from Ohio State and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, working with developer Jane McGonigal of the Institute for the Future, found that SuperBetter improved teenagers’ symptoms as well as their sense of optimism. The findings were published in the journal Brain Injury.

According to Ohio State, the study involved 19 patients who received standard concussion care for problems that persisted more than three weeks after an injury; an experimental group used the SuperBetter app to track their symptoms. The app depicts concussion symptoms as “bad guys” and medical recommendations are “power ups”; users can invite others to join their network and interact with them.

Researchers concluded that, when used as part of an overall care regimen, the interactive app lessened feelings of isolation and improved outcomes.

For more information about concussions and young athletes, go to columbusparent.com/lifestyle/20170815/back-to-school-sports-safety.