Brain in hand - personal technology for independant living

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Innovative support for University students

Universities need to provide support to students with autism, mental health problems and other additional needs to help them enjoy university and reach their full potential.  But funding is reducing, more responsibility for support is being placed on universities and greater numbers of students are asking for help.

Brain in Hand provides a solution to this problem. It helps staff arm students with access to support they need anytime, anywhere, to keep their life and studies on track, using readily available technology students feel comfortable with – a smart phone. It also helps staff to spot who needs additional help and provide early intervention.

Students at more than one hundred universities across the UK now use Brain in Hand. A trial by The National Autistic Society amongst university students demonstrated that it delivers a significant reduction in anxiety plus an increase in confidence and independence. This is important for transition management and student retention.

Students who want Brain in Hand should ask their university support team if they can supply a licence, request the software through Disabled Students Allowance or buy a licence directly from us.

How does it work?

Brain in Hand is designed to arm students with access to personalised support from an app on their phone.  It’s packed with features:

Never Forget – A diary and notes for difficult to remember tasks: Enter lectures, clubs and routines into your Brain in Hand diary so you can plan ahead and make sure no events or activities are missed.

Reduce Anxiety – Access to pre-planned coping strategies instantly: Everyone faces different challenges in life and know which coping strategies work best for them. But when under pressure this can be forgotten.  Brain in Hand gives easy and instant access to a person’s best thinking when it’s needed most.

Feel supported – Track your anxiety levels and request extra support if you need it: Brain in Hand helps people to monitor their anxiety.  Throughout the day they will be prompted to indicate their anxiety levels using a traffic light icon on their phone:  Green if everything is fine, amber if feeling uneasy or red if extra support is needed.  This helps keeps support staff aware of feelings and informs periods of reflection.

Alongside the regular monitoring, if coping strategies aren’t working and extra help is needed, at any time the red traffic light can be pressed which will send a notification to support staff, letting them know extra help is needed.  This enables staff to provide help as quickly as possible to de-escalate a situation.

From a central website, staff have visibility of everyone’s usage information, latest anxiety levels and can be alerted if anyone is distressed.  This monitoring and insight means they are better informed when talking with each student during periods of reflection or planning.  They also have time-stamped detailed information to help staff planning.

How does it help?

Arming students with a diary, access to their own coping strategies and the option of requesting additional support when they need it, helps reduce anxieties, build confidence and help keep their studies and lives on track.  

Amongst those using the system results have been dramatic.  94% of those using Brain in Hand report that it’s having a positive impact on their life, 88% cope better with problems and feel more confident and 100% say Brain in Hand provides them with help when they need it.

Brain in Hand enables university support teams to provide a cost-effective service.  It helps teams track and support increased numbers of students and provide intervention when it’s needed most.  Additionally, the rich set of usage and monitoring information can better inform support sessions with students, assist operational support planning and enable greater consistency between support providers.

Visit our Case Studies page to read our student user stories…

How to buy & funding


If you are a university student Brain in Hand may be funded as part of your Disabled Student Allowance (DSA).  Please request a licence during your DSA assessment, or go back to your assessor and ask if they can add it to your provision.

If you’re not eligible for funding via DSA, you can purchase a Brain in Hand licence from us.


Universities can buy group licences from us. We will work with the university to integrate Brain in Hand into its support service.

Discounts are available for multiple licence purchases and each licence can be transferred from one individual to another as appropriate.


If you are a DSA assessor looking to recommend Brain in Hand for a student you are assessing, more information and resources can be found here.


Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements.

  • It really has actually changed my life. I was sceptical at first but now I would not turn back.

    Holly, Student at DeMontfort University
  • Brain in Hand has helped me to solve all sorts of problems by myself, which has really built my confidence.

    Dagmawit Mekuria, Student at Middlesex University
  • We’ve adopted Brain in Hand as part of our plan. This cutting edge technology will help transform our service provision and student satisfaction. Initially 200 of our students will be given this empowering app.

    Tina Sharpe, Head of Disability Advice and Support, De Montfort University.
  • It’s like having an invisible buddy that can help you and get you through it.

    Kathleen, Student at University of East London
  • I feel a lot more settled knowing someone is always there to help.

    Saajan, Student at DeMontfort University