Atlanta, GA,
09:15 AM

Mobile App to Use Decision Support Strategy to Help Improve Health, Independence and Safety for Brain Injury Survivors

Impaired attention, memory and self-awareness are common following traumatic brain injury (TBI) and affect independence and safety when self-managing health and everyday activities.

Significant information needs arise for professionals, family caregivers and people with TBI after returning home. These include making differential diagnostic assessments, selecting the most appropriate home- and community-based services and supports, measuring progress, and updating healthcare and supervision needs.

To address these information needs, researchers at Shepherd Center and ChartAssist LLC are collaborating on the development of a decision support mobile app that will facilitate safety and independent living following TBI. Shepherd Center is an Atlanta-based, private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in the medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord and brain injury, and ChartAssist is a Montgomery, Alabama-based software development company specializing in multidisciplinary rehabilitation, electronic medical record data collection and decision support.

The decision support app is intended for use by health professionals and paraprofessionals, family caregivers, and people with TBI-related impairments. The app will improve the assessment of functional mobility, household activities, sleep and safety risk, researchers said. It will also provide multidisciplinary treatment recommendations for people who have sustained TBI, as well as goal-setting and longitudinal tracking of outcomes.

“I am thankful to have the opportunity to work with Shepherd Center and Dr. Ron Seel, director of brain injury research, to help people with TBI and their families,” said Daniel Joye, president of ChartAssist. “The need for a decision support app is clear, and our company’s work on multidisciplinary rehabilitation in the mental health community is a great fit for helping people with brain injuries, their families and rehabilitation professionals.”

Dr. Seel, Ph.D., the O. Wayne Rollins Director of Brain Injury Research at Shepherd Center, said: “I was quickly impressed by the innovative software development work that ChartAssist has done in the mental health community. The software that ChartAssist has developed to facilitate person-centered, multidisciplinary rehabilitation assessment and treatment has broad applicability to helping people with brain injuries, who share many of the same chronic cognitive, behavioral, physical and health conditions experienced by people with mental health disabilities. Leveraging this work to develop secure, user-friendly, evidence-based decision support applications is a natural fit and could greatly improve people’s lives.”

Seed funding for the development of the decision support app comes from two grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) grants, as well as the Shepherd Center Foundation.

The app platform will accommodate plans for the future development and implementation of behavioral informatics that can collect large subjective and objective data collections. Predictive analytics can then provide more precise diagnostics and generate timely, tailored feedback to assist with goal-setting and treatment options, the researchers said.

For more information on Shepherd Center, visit For more information on ChartAssist, visit

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.