Addressing The Scale Of The Assistive Tech Challenge

The need for assistive tech is growing with every year. The UN now estimate that, by 2030, 2 billion people will need some form of assistive technology to enable their independence to continue amid the backdrop of increasing levels of complex disability. Assistive tech is one of the great wonders of the technological revolution, enabling greater numbers of people to enjoy a level of independence perhaps impossible before the advent of such tech. New innovations are helping to broaden the net even further.

Enabling long-term improvement

One of the most challenging forms of disability are those that impact movement. Conditions such as cerebral palsy can create life-long barriers to being able to have a full range of movement, something which assistive tech has recently made new breakthroughs in. People diagnosed with cerebral palsy can often benefit from the use of botulinum toxin. This reduces over-activity in muscles, improving range and ease of movement. New research has outlined the development of an assistive limb to help improve gait and long-term mobility when combined with botox injections; a sign of how incremental improvements can help to develop greater tech.

Constant accessibility

Long-term improvement in disabilities is an important aim, but the here and now is important, too. Assistive tech and accessible content is often in short supply on the web; according to the New York Times, this is often a barrier to people living with disability. The impact of smart tech being implemented into everyday services is crucial in tackling this. Entrepreneurs are now looking to gently nudge service providers into making their product accessibility-first.


The Assistive Tech Challenge 2

Everyday tasks

Many people who live with disability can get out and about with independence. They can complete daily tasks, and operate in society to the same level as anyone else. Where problems arise are in seemingly simple day-to-day tasks. Assistive task is helping to bridge this gap, often overlooked in popular discourse, to great effect. MIT highlight the new design of a hair detangling robot, for instance, which achieves a job that some with mobility symptoms are unable to.

These small, incremental changes come together to be more than the sum of their parts. The world population of people living with disability is huge, and always growing. Ethically, and economically, it’s important that they are enfranchised – new developments in assistive tech are certainly achieving that.

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