A radio-paging reminder service which provides brain injury patients with a vital lifeline to independence has been updated and upgraded using special software from Norwich-based communications specialist Autopage.
The simple-to-use NeuroPage™ reminder service is operated nationwide from the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, which is based at the Princess of Wales Hospital, in Ely.
People using NeuroPage™ begin by sending in a list of reminders, and at the appropriate time the computer-run system sends a message to their pager or mobile phone.
NeuroPage™ is designed for people with memory, planning or organisational difficulties resulting from brain injury, but can also be used by some people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, or with learning disabilities.
Reminders can be for one-off events such as hospital appointments or buying a birthday card, but can also be for important regular events or tasks, such as taking medication, or getting ready to go to work or college.
Patients who took part in extensive trials of the new Autopage-operated system included 40-year-old Bruce, who suffers from seizures and subsequent memory difficulties.
NeuroPage prompted him to complete tasks such as organising and taking his medication, and to charge his mobility scooter in order to go to the doctor’s to collect his new prescription. Bruce was previously prone to forgetting to take his medication, and forgetting to go to personal and medical appointments.
Using Autopage software, NeuroPage™ has enabled Bruce to take his medication regularly, and has significantly decreased the number of seizures he has. This in turn decreases the risk of further brain damage.
Without the pager Bruce would require additional care support to manage his medical and domestic care needs. The pager allows him to remain independent, albeit with support from carers, and he reports that it has made his life “100%” better.
NeuroPage™ has helped hundreds of people since it was launched 10 years ago, but in February it made a successful and seamless transition from its elderly Apple Macintosh system to the Windows-operated Autopage system.
Andrew Bateman, clinical manager and head of research at the Oliver Zangwill Centre, said the Autopage system had made it easier for NeuroPage to use text messages as an alternative to paging.
“NeuroPage has been working very successfully for many years, but in the past the use of SMS texting has been a bit tricky for us. The Autopage system makes it rather more straightforward for us to choose between paging and texting,” he said.
“We’re actually big fans of paging because it offers one-button retrieval, which is ideal for our patients, who can frequently do without complicated phones. However, some patients do find texting more attractive, and it is now easier for us to meet their wishes.”
Mr Bateman added that while NeuroPage users would have noticed no changes, the Autopage software had made the whole system easier for administrators to run.
“NeuroPage™ runs 24 hours a day, and it’s now less stressful to make sure this on-call system is operating, because it was quite complex before. The Microsoft Windows system is generally easier to learn and to use.”
To contact Autopage call 01603 506441, or visit www.autopagesolutions.co.uk
To find out more about NeuroPage please call Kirstie Flack at Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust on 01480 308226. Alternatively, visit www.neuropage.nhs.uk or email Andrew.Bateman@ozc.nhs.uk
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