APP2Speak Scores Highly in Recent Ranking of Speech Assistance Apps for Patients in Long-Term Residential Care


With a growing aging population, there are many more people now living with challenging chronic conditions that may require the services offered in long-term residential care homes. Many of the patients in these facilities struggle with communication disorders (aphasia) due to a variety of causes (sensory loss, dementia, stroke, etc.).

When this is the case, caregivers’ attempts to provide person-centered care can be challenging.

communication tools for people who cannot talk

Mobile communication devices such as smartphones and tablets and their software apps offer an innovative way to help caregivers and patients communicate during activities of daily living, as they can supplement a patient’s remaining speech abilities or replace the patient’s voice output entirely when speech is no longer possible.

Given the increasing numbers of people in long-term care who need assistance to communicate, a group of researchers in Canada set out to find the best communication tools for patients who cannot talk. To do this, they evaluated over 600 AAC apps for android and Apple devices in 2015 and again in 2017 to see which communication apps for nonverbal patients scored best on a variety of factors.

The results of the study were published in 2020 in the highly respected journal, JMIR Aging.

Out of all the apps evaluated, APP2Speak was one of only seven AAC apps to be “highly rated” and one of only nine communication apps to be shortlisted for purchase/download!

Selection Criteria for Speech Assistance Apps

The criteria used for evaluating the AAC apps in this study were rigorous, involving multiple rounds of evaluation conducted by multiple reviewers.

The following criteria were used to judge the quality of the apps in the study:

  • The app’s primary function is to provide AAC for adults
  • Allows the patient to communicate basic needs (feelings, preferences, activities)
  • Can support communication between a care provider and a patient in a healthcare setting
  • Can be customized to support individual needs and preferences
  • Includes all visual and auditory feedback functions (images, text, and speech/sound)
  • Low cost
  • Has been in the marketplace for at least two years (longevity/stability)
  • Has both web-based and offline capabilities
  • Technical support (email, phone, and web) is available
  • Is easy to use
  • The graphic presentation and visuals are attractive
  • The app’s design was informed by a speech-language pathologist or one or more end users

Few AAC apps met all of these criteria, and we’re proud to say that APP2Speak meets all of them! The study even noted that APP2Speak was one of only two apps whose design was informed by a speech-language pathologist (that would be me!).

Want to Learn More?

If you have a loved one in a long-term residential care home or if this situation may be in your future, you owe it to yourself to see how APP2Speak can make life for both your loved one and their caregivers easier.

To learn more about all the features included in the app, head on over to our How It Works page.

Don’t think you need all of the features included in the full version of the app? In that case, check out our new “APP2Speak Lite” version.

Whichever version you choose, you can’t go wrong. But don’t take my word for it. As you now know, independent research has proven that APP2Speak is one of the best AAC communication apps available!

Source: Wilson, R., Cochrane, D., Mihailidis, A., & Small, J. (2020). Mobile Apps to Support Caregiver-Resident Communication in Long-Term Care: Systematic Search and Content Analysis. JMIR aging3 (1), e17136.