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Brain Injury Survivor Develops App To Help Other Survivors

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The Brain Injury Association of Canada's October newsletter features an article called "Necessity is the Mother of Invention." It is about how one man who survived a car accident and sustained brain injury created an iPhone app that helps brain injury survivors to overcome their challenges on a daily basis. This story of frustration and hope is reproduced below.

Sergio Di Giovanni understands technology and brain injury – one because of his profession, the other because a driver ran a red light and t-boned the driver’s side of his car. Sergio’s vehicle hit a concrete pole and knocked him unconscious. At 29 years of age and about to be married, Sergio’s life took a sharp turn, careening him into a world of depression, anger and frustration. He was a talented web designer and went from knowing what his future had to offer to a life filled with uncertainty in a blink of an eye. Nobody, including Sergio, knew where life would lead from this point on. Sergio struggled with memory loss and multitasking following the crash. Eventually these struggles led him to closing his business.

Like many survivors, Sergio began using Apple’s iPhone soon after it was released. He searched tirelessly for applications that may aid with memory loss; however, none of them helped. Again, like so many others, Sergio identified the need for alerts to complete tasks and ones that would continue to remind him until the task was complete.

This is where his brilliant mind for technology and the loving support of his wife came into play. She encouraged him to develop an application specific to brain injury survivors and he let his mind lead him to find people who could help him put his ideas and vision into action. “The next day I started to create the software called Qcard which will never let me forget anything again and make our lives much easier,” Sergio says proudly.

Qcard differs from other task-oriented applications by:

• Providing alerts for as long as the person wants and for often as they want

• Allowing the user to delay an alert, complete the task or delete it

• Offering colour-coded categories divided into 1) Quick Reminders (i.e. take medication); 2) Guided Tasks requiring multiple steps (i.e. laundry); and 3) Appointments

A unique feature of this application is that the user can ‘shake’ their phone to instantly prepare the app to record a thought or idea. This alleviates the issue of the person having to navigate through screens and then forgetting what they wanted to record. Sergio plans to create a second version which will allow users to send each other Qcard reminders – perfect for families to stay organized!

Qcard is now available on the Apple App Store.

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