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Study level


Research Masters


Faculty/Lead unit

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Theresa Green
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health
Dr Bernd Ploderer
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


StrokeAssist is a communication app for people with aphasia, an impairment in the ability to speak and understand others. The app provides a human voice and pictures to support communication with family members and medical staff. The content is designed to support face-to-face communication in the context of a hospital ward, i.e., to

  • schedule daily events (therapy, doctor visits)
  • express personal needs (hunger, pain, mood)
  • introduce people (hospital staff, family members).

StrokeAssist contains a starter set of pictures to support communication. It allows you to personalise and expand the set of pictures with your own photos and associated vocabulary.

The app allows you to keep track of your mood and pain over several days or weeks.

StrokeAssist has been developed by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) staff and students to support research into the communication between people with post-stroke aphasia, family and hospital staff. In making the app available on the hospital ward we hope to create opportunities for verbal communication outside the limited hours of speech therapy.

Research activities

Research activities will include:

  • ethnographic research with stroke patients: conduct participant observation and interviews with patients, family and staff who use StrokeAssist in the context of the hospital ward at the Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital
  • participatory design research:  work with patients, family and staff to refine StrokeAssist and to design new applications to support communication.


We expect the outcomes of this research to include:

  • an evaluation of the potential benefits and challengs of using StrokeAssist in the context of the hospital.
  • improved design of StrokeAssist and ideas for novel interactive prototypes to support communciation between stroke survivors, family members, and medical staff.

Skills and experience

Required skills

Students with strong skills in human-computer interaction and interaction design, i.e. in user research, are encouraged to apply.

Desirable skills

Prior experience in working with patients and medical staff in a hospital setting would be beneficial.



Contact the supervisor for more information.