Stroke of genius in CogWatch collaboration


Psychologists at Birmingham are giving fresh hope to people suffering from cognitive impairment.

Stuart Cater is making a cup of tea: black with sugar. The 55-year-old machine setter from Worcestershire puts a teabag and two sugar lumps into a mug and switches on the kettle. The only problem is – he’s forgotten to add water.

A cue flashes up on the screen in front of him. ‘Please add water to the kettle,’ it says; showing someone carrying out the action. Stuart hesitates; then follows the instruction. With water safely in the kettle, he clicks the ‘on’ button. But then he immediately picks up the appliance and pours the un-boiled water into the mug.

Stuart suffered a serious stroke 16 months earlier, leaving him not only paralysed down his left side, but also with a mental impairment called Apraxia and Action Disorganisation Syndrome (AADS), which makes it difficult for him to perform basic activities with ordered sequences, such as making tea or coffee.