Background: Recently, the use of mobile computer technology in health management has received attention in research and clinical domains. The role of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet PCs in the management of aphasia has not yet been thoroughly reviewed in the literature, and research on mobile technology and aphasia is scarce.
Aims: The aim of this paper is to review accessibility issues and the potential uses of mobile computing for people with aphasia, with a view to stimulating and guiding further research.
Main Contribution: The literature reviewed is synthesised into key design features which may enhance the accessibility of technology for people with aphasia. The importance of access to technology for non-rehabilitative purposes and the potential role of smart phones as a cost-effective, time-efficient and context-sensitive health management tool are outlined. Potential functions of speech pathology applications (apps) are also proposed, with the aim of improving the organisation and direction of research in this area.
Conclusions: Improving access to mobile computing technology by people with aphasia has the potential for enhancing both social participation and management of aphasia. It is clear from this review that more research is needed into how accessibility may be improved, as well as on the development of mobile applications that aid management of aphasia.