Assistive Technology in 2022: A Helping Hand

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    We’ve always encountered a wide range of technology, and we employ some of it on a regular basis. Mobile phones, television, 4G networks, and other similar technologies are examples. Many people are unaware of what assistive technology is and why it is described as a “helping hand” in the title.

    Additionally, assistive technology is used and implemented on a frequent basis! Individuals with disabilities can employ assistive technology to perform tasks and functions that would otherwise be difficult or impossible. Assistive technology consists of mobility equipment such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software, and other peripherals that help individuals with disabilities use computers and other information technology. Persons with limited hand function can use a keyboard with oversize keys or a customized mouse to operate a computer, while people without eyesight can use software that reads the text on the screen in a computer-generated voice, among other applications.

    This technology enables individuals with various impairments to have healthy, productive, independent, and dignified lives, as well as engage in school, the labor market, and civic life. People with various disabilities and diseases are frequently left alone, isolated, and ostracized without assistive technology, which worsens the disease’s impact. The saddest statistic about technology’s good influence is that just one person with a disability out of every ten has access to it and leads to a better life. Assistive technology is expensive, and there is a lack of knowledge, availability, trained workers, policy, and funding for it.

    Those with disabilities, the elderly, people with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and stroke, people with mental health problems such as dementia and autism, and people with progressive functional decline are all in desperate need of Assistive Technology.

    Though technology has numerous benefits for those who need it, it also has many and serious drawbacks for those who are suffering and those who labor for them. The following are some of the difficulties encountered:

    Products: Currently, the assistive products business is modest and specialized, catering mostly to high-income consumers. State finance, national service delivery systems, user-centered research and development, procurement systems, quality and safety standards, and context-appropriate product design are all in short supply.

    Service provision: In greater countries, services are frequently separate and unconnected. People are required to attend many visits at various sites, which is costly and places additional strain on users, carers, and health and welfare resources. National service delivery for assistive items does not exist in many low- and middle-income economies. A pharmacy, private clinic, or workshop sells assistive items directly to those who can afford them.

    Personnel: For the appropriate prescription, fitting, user training, and follow-up of assistive devices, trained health personnel are required. Assistive goods are often of little value or abandoned if these critical stages are not followed, and they may even cause bodily harm (as is the case of providing wheelchairs without pressure relief cushions for people with spinal injury).

    People address certain obstacles as a result of infirmities, and others as a result of a lack of technological understanding. If there is an increase in knowledge and availability of technology-related resources, this technology can make the world a better place to live for individuals with multiple disabilities and diseases.