Research Tuesday: “Being Smart: Challenges in the Use of Mobile Applications in Clinical Settings”

Took a couple months off, but it’s time to rejoin Research Tuesday! Time to share and critique more research, thanks to the SLP Blogger challenge set up by Rachel Wynn over at Gray Matter Therapy. I’m re-entering the challenge with a review of an article on using apps in a clinical setting. (Oh, how appropriate.) It also isn’t exactly a research study, but rather a review of the present state of affairs, introduction to current issues, and suggestions for guidelines. It also provides a good overview of the numbers and preliminary research (and lack thereof) that is available.

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Get Yapping: How to Voice Your App Opinions

As you may know, I am a huge social media user. I am constantly all over Twitter and Facebook (and blogs, of course), and I dabble in Pinterest, Google+, Reddit, LinkedIn, Instagram………..well, you get the point. Last year, if you had asked me the best way to find and critique good apps, I would have recommended you use a combination of all of these. “Facebook, Twitter, and blogs will be the most useful,” I would have said. “Join the SLPs Talk Apps group on Facebook, start following #SLPeeps on Twitter, and read blogs like Speech Techie and Speaking of Apps.”

While I still use all of these invaluable resources, it’s not incredibly time efficient. On Facebook, the same questions get asked over and over again, there is no organized way to make thorough or consistent recommendations, and although the posts are made by individuals, intentions are not always transparent. Twitter is very fast-paced, and it is hit-or-miss whether people with real knowledge will happen to see your tweet and give you the information you need. Blogs are far more organized and have credible reviews, but that means keeping up with each of them and constantly perusing old material to find the content that you want. Oh, and there are those fantastic app lists that hard-working SLP bloggers have put together, but they typically reflect introductory information, and you usually still need to do plenty more research to determine if the app is worth your purchase. Is anyone else stressed out yet?! Can’t we just have one place to search for apps that brings together all the features we want: organization, credible and verifiable reviews, consistency, community, efficient and various searching methods, and a uniform rating system? Well, perhaps we can… :)

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