iTalk, University College London 2012-2013

iTalk: A web-based speech therapy application for patients with aphasia

Led by Dr Alexander Leff, Consultant Neurologist, National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery and University College London, Dr Jenny Crinion, Speech and Language Therapist, University College London.

The main aim is to develop an interactive, web-based, speech therapy application designed to improve the language function of patients with aphasia. After testing in a clinical trial, the application will be made available via the internet, world-wide, for any patient, their carer or therapist to use.

For treatments like speech therapy, the main issue is one of access. There is good evidence that speech therapy has been shown to be effective in patients with aphasia but it is time-consuming and thus costly. Given current restraints on spending in most healthcare systems, other approaches need to be considered. An interactive, web-based application could be the ideal solution. With some supervision from a Speech and Language Therapist patients can access proven therapies when and where they want to. The target population is patients with aphasia caused by stroke.

This clinical project harnesses the strengths of the internet making its therapeutic impact potentially huge.