A Look at the Dexteria VMI Visual-Motor Integration Skills App

A Look at the Dexteria VMI App- Assess and Practice Visual-Motor Integration Skills. Potential LLC

Thank goodness there’s an app for everything. If you or your child has received occupational therapy, you may have experienced first hand the way apps are being incorporated in treatment and assessment.

In my own practice, I found apps particularly useful for working on cognitive skills, fine motor coordination, and visual-motor skills. Apps allow for easy tracking of progress—and are more engaging than paper activities that necessitate me, the therapist, having to take time to grade then compare to previous trials.

BinaryLabs is a go-to provider of apps for occupational therapists to use with their clients. Today, I wanted to spotlight their newest app, Dexteria VMI Visual-Motor Integration Skills.

The name sounds intimidating. But, if you or a loved one struggles with visual-motor integration—it is so encouraging to see a tool address this underappreciated skill set. Visual-motor integration is commonly referred to as “eye-hand coordination” and refers to how the visual information is converted to motor movement.

Difficulty in visual motor integration can show up across the population, from children with learning disabilities to adults following a stroke.

The app has 2 “games” within it, “Make This” and “Match This,” which contain practice for discerning figure-foreground, visual discrimination, visual motor skill and visual perception.

Each game has 10 levels (by Level 10, I was feeling nervous and making a few errors).

 A “reports” feature makes it easy to track your progress from session to session.

My favorite feature of this app is that the design is not kid-like. It is simple and clean, which is not only appropriate for the visual difficulties of the audience but also makes it adult-friendly. Having worked primarily with adults, there are many apps I do not deem appropriate to use with my clientele because they feel too child-like.

This app truly is appropriate for all ages.

After playing with the app, I was curious about the creation of the product and was able to connect with Frank Jensen, the CEO and Executive Producer at Binary Labs.

Have any OTs been involved in the creation of your apps, and this one in particular?

Frank: Yes, we consult with a variety of OTs on all of our apps. They usually get involved at two stages of the development: early on at the concept stage to help ensure our design concepts serve a need and are therapeutically sound, and then again at the beta test stage to ensure we executed properly. 

It seems the app was designed for kids, but I also see the app being potentially beneficial for an adult, for example after a stroke. Was this intended in the design?

Frank: Yes it was intended. We are seeing our apps being used more and more for adult stroke rehab, so we include that audience in our user personas as we design our products. 

One of the most rewarding emails I've received was from an adult stroke patient who attributed regaining use of his primary hand to our motor skill app, Dexteria.

It was very motivating and inspirational for us to hear that. 

What kind of testing do your apps go through, for example, to verify that they do impact visual-motor skills?

Frank: We vet our apps through our OT consultants, as well as do research on our own.  Most of our activities are based on verified methods, with our unique twists added to adapt them to the medium. 

There are also some universities currently doing independent studies on the use of our apps.  We look forward to seeing the published results.

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