N13 — April 2013 —Mayo Clinic's Accessible App
Intro: Significant visual impairment adds an extra challenge to daily tasks for more than 4-million Americans. In some cases, technology can bridge the gap. Dennis Douda shows us a great example at Mayo Clinic, where they got some help from a guy who's an expert in more ways than one.
"I'm a techie by trade and by default."
Stephen Guerra (Gare-ah) is an Information Technologies analyst and he loves Mayo Clinic's Patient App for iPhones and iPads.
"I'm mesmerized by it."
The Mayo Patient App is packed with features, including secure access to medical records, appointment schedules, maps, restaurants and community attractions.
"And we've had over 75,000 downloads across the world, every continent, every country."
Mark Henderson is Mayo Clinic's I-T Division Chair. His team of mobile developers designed the app … and Stephen helped him make it even better.
"Maps and directions."
"Downtown Rochester campus."
Stephen, who cannot see, is an I-T expert for a company that markets adaptive devices for the hearing and visually impaired. He contacted Mayo with suggestions for how to more fully take advantage of the adaptive software Apple builds into all of its apps. Mark and Mayo Clinic's I-T staff immediately took Stephen up on the offer.
"We videotaped what he was showing us, had a great conversation and first-hand were able to see what the benefit of some of those changes is. It's what we built into the application."
"We went over how an individual with limited or no sight uses an iPhone or iDevice."
There is a program called Zoom that magnifies and another called Voice Over.
"Settings: Voiceover On. Voice over speaks items on the screen."
Now, Stephen says the app is barrier free.
"An intoxicating amount of information. Well, Mayo Clinic has taken all that information now and made it completely available for all patients, no matter what their challenges."
For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Dennis Douda.
The Mayo Clinic Patient App, available free at the App Store. By the way, Mayo I-T says it will take into account the insights Stephen shared with them for all of their future Apps.
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