NHS Surrey seeks apps to help speech patients

Technology experts are being sought to develop gadgets that could help patients with speech and language difficulties in Surrey.

Surrey Community Health, which is part of NHS Surrey, has appealed for "local techy folk" to get involved.

The NHS trust said technology could offer solutions for patients with communication problems.

It said smartphone apps could help a patient both understand and be understood.

Alison Edginton, chief executive of Surrey Community Health, said: "We are going through a lot of change and we need to embrace new technology to make sure we move with the times."

'Transform lives'

She said: "Tapping into the expertise in the local community is a great example of how we can do this."

Rose Dennis, a speech and language therapy manager, said: "We are always looking for ways to help our patients communicate to the best of their ability.

"We know that there is so much potential for technology which really could transform the lives of our patients."

The NHS trust treats hundreds of adults and children each year who have communication difficulties.

Some are completely without speech and are unable to make an appointment at the doctor, ask for help at a police station, or buy something in a shop, the trust said.

Examples of potential software given by the trust included an app that could read aloud incoming messages or a picture library which could describe a picture out loud.

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