Globally, 1 billion people live with a disability of some form, according to the World Health Organization. These individuals face monumental challenges in sustaining themselves and integrating into society. But, thanks to tech innovations, we’re slowly starting to overcome those challenges. And in the process, they’re also making it easier to render disability healthcare services to people with disabilities. Let’s take a look at some of the most promising innovations in disability healthcare.
Echolocation Devices For The Visually Impaired
While we are still working on the process of inventing electronic sight for the visually impaired, there have been some ingenious workarounds in development. One such innovation is the Sunu Band. The inventor of this smart wearable is sight-impaired himself, and he had always dreamed of a device that could give people with visual disabilities navigate more independently. The Sunu Band uses echolocations to detect obstacles and environmental features.
It then uses high-frequency sound waves and vibrations to communicate this information to the wearer. The device can help sight-impaired people regain some of their agency by being able to walk around smoothly without the need for a cane or guide dog. This will improve their self-confidence while freeing up their caretakers to focus on other tasks. The smart wearable has also found a new dimension of usefulness in this time of social distancing.
Bionics For Cerebral Palsy Patients
Unlike visual disabilities, cerebral palsy is more difficult to develop workarounds for. There are numerous types of cerebral palsy, each limiting a person’s function differently. Thankfully, the field of bionics, or functional mechanical prosthetics, has been steadily maturing over the past few years. Exoskeleton technology has been increasingly effective at helping palsy patients to walk again. Augmented and Alternative Communications, or AAC Devices, are helping those with speech inhibitions communicate with their loved ones and caretakers.
Activity Trackers For Seniors
Seniors are the most at-risk population in this day and age. People are averse to come in contact with them for fear of unknowingly infecting them with COVID-19. This leads to several issues, in addition to the fact that their caretakers can’t keep an eye on them as much as they used to. That is a concerning fact for countries with aging populations such as Singapore.
As a result, this motivated Singapore Management University Labs to create SHINEseniors. This project was formed to provide seniors with smart home suites that will keep track of their daily activities and needs. Its sensors record things like biometrics and remind seniors of their medicine doses, and diets. The data collected allows caretakers to monitor seniors remotely and make better health decisions without having to be on site.
Thanks to the rise in technology, it is much easier to render health services to disabled individuals. With more new opportunities opening up, individuals with disabilities will be able to reintegrate more into society in meaningful ways.