Healthcare Technology Featured Article

November 30, 2022

New Technological Innovations That Are Improving Care for the Disabled




Wondering what technologies are available for people with disabilities? We explore the amazing innovations that are changing lives, here…

Over 15% of the world’s population live with a disability. This can have a huge impact on the way an individual navigates the world. For children with special educational needs, SEN expert solicitors can play some part in helping them to receive the care and support they need throughout their time in education.

That said, every year, there are new technological innovations that are created to help care for those living with a disability. These can be used in their day to day lives to help tackle the unique challenges that they may face.

These technologies have the potential to completely change someone’s way of life, making them more independent or allowing them to take part in something that they may have been unable to before. Here are five new technologies that can help improve care for the disabled…

1.Bionic exoskeletons

The technologies surrounding bionic exoskeletons have been improving rapidly and are believed to one day replace wheelchairs.

A bionic exoskeleton is designed to help those struggling with different forms of paralysis to stand, walk and even climb stairs. For those with mobility difficulties, this could help massively within their everyday lives.

A company called Ekso was one of the first organisations to bring this technology to the UK. Today, they are helping disabled peopleto build upon their natural abilities, allowing for a much higher quality of care than they may have received without this technology.

2.Helmet for the blind 

A Chinese organisation named CloudMinds have been working on technology that will allow a blind or visually impaired person to navigate. This will be particularly useful when it comes to walking down a street or crossing a road.

The idea is that the helmet contains a number of sensors and cameras to map an environment, and then communicates that to an individual through speech. This could help those with difficulties seeing to gain more independence and face less risks when traveling alone.

3.Eye-controlled wheelchairs

There are many reasons why an individual may require a wheelchair to get around, whether that be due to mobility issues or mental impairments. Developing technologies may make it possible for these individuals to control the chair with eye movements.

Patrick Joyce created Eyedrivomatic to give those living with conditions like ALS, as he does, the chance to gain more control over their movement through the use of motorised   wheelchairs and an eyegaze system.

4.3D printed prosthetics

Most people have heard of using 3D printed prosthetics to help amputees, however, it is still a fairly new practice having started in 2011. These printed limbs can be more lightweight and personalised to meet the owners’ unique needs.

3D printed prosthetics can feel more natural with designs that spark joy, for example a child having an arm that looks like their favourite superhero. This focus on design is said to make it easier for an individual to accept a prosthetic limb, and make it a part of their identity.

Additionally, the lower cost of 3D printed prosthetics when compared to other methods have allowed for the advancement of the technology, providing new ways of making these limbs more functional. Companies like Unlimited Tomorrow are working had to make prosthetic technologies more precise and beneficial for those that need them.

5.Text to speech software

Text to speech software first came about in the late 1950s, and improvements to the technology have made it incredibly beneficial for disabled people. An incredibly famous example of an individual using text to speech software to communicate is Stephen Hawking; this technology allowed him to be more independent and get better care.

In more recent years, artificial intelligence like Siri or Alexa have been able to help people with many different types of disability. It gives people access to information, entertainment and much more.

Improving care for disabled people with new technologies

In this article, we have discussed five new technological innovations that can help improve care for and the lives of those with disabilities. As technology and our understanding of different types of disabilities advances, there are more and more improvements to the ways we use technology to help others.

Just some of the other types of technology being worked on include adaptive keyboards, AI-powered smart canes, smart glasses, cleaning robots, personal emergency response systems, wheelchairs that can climb stairs, and much more. The future looks bright!


 





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