TIVERTON and Honiton MP Neil Parish visited the offices of Brain-in-Hand Ltd at Exeter University's Innovation Centre to see firsthand the assistive technology the company has developed for people with Asperger’s Syndrome and high-functioning autism.
As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism, Neil was very impressed after using the technology himself and discussing its benefits and applications.
His visit included a presentation on the SmartPhone-based system, which assists people with Asperger’s Syndrome, high-functioning autism, acquired brain injury and a number of other conditions.
He also met Tom Pittwood, who originally participated in the Devon Partnership NHS Trust trial of the system and was so impressed he applied to join the company as both a market analyst and in training organisations to use the system effectively.
“I think it is brilliant that a local MP is taking an interest in our company," said Tom.
"I hope that we can make a real difference to many people’s lives as my experience in using the technology has been really beneficial.
“It’s the best-applied demonstration of the old metaphor ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ because it enables you to tackle the problem when it happens, rather than discussing it three days later in a therapy session.”
Brain-in-Hand technology uses a system of activity mapping, whereby users, in conjunction with a mentor, develop their own bespoke solutions to problems they may face in their daily lives. Data entry using a PC, laptop or tablet is simple and schedules can be copied from one day to another and then adjusted as necessary.
Users are asked to record their anxiety levels using a simple traffic-light system and synchronisation between the SmartPhone and the server automatically alerts a support team if a user needs immediate assistance and also provides a record of decisions taken.
Neil said: "I believe this can deliver a greater quality of life for those with Asperger’s, create greater economic benefits and save the taxpayer money."