Technology

Innovative Technology and Apps for People with Mobility Issues

Technology
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One in four adults in the US has a disability that impacts their major life activities and the most common disability type is that of mobility (which affects one in seven adults). Someone with a mobility issue might have difficulty walking, climbing the stairs, or simply moving. This can affect their ability to carry out an array of different tasks independently. There is a wide range of factors that can affect a person’s mobility—including aging, neurological conditions, injuries, mental health illness, and disorders such as cerebral palsy. For instance, around 31% of people with cerebral palsy (CP) need to use special equipment such as walkers or wheelchairs. The good news is that technology and apps are constantly being developed to make life easier for people with mobility issues. Below are just a few recent innovations.

Apps that Ease Communication

Conditions like cerebral palsy can impact one’s ability to finely coordinate the muscles around the tongue, which need to move in a coordinated fashion for speech. Useful cerebral palsy apps include augmentative and alternative communication apps, which assist language comprehension and communication through a variety of tools. Apps like MyTalkTools Mobile AAC allow users to select from different categories andto say what they want by selecting a sequence of words, sounds, and images. They can also play recorded sounds by touching a cell and forming complete sentences. Other useful apps are Proloquo2go (which boasts natural-sounding text-to-speech functionalities), TouchChat HD – AAC (with English and Spanish options), and iCommunicate by Grembe, Inc. (which allows users to design visual schedules, communication boards, schedules, flashcards, and more).

Robotic Exoskeletons

Inviting wheelchair users to stand and walk can improve their mobility and social participation but it can also combat secondary issues that arise from sitting too long (including urinary tract infections and pressure sores). By using an exoskeleton, people can literally ‘walk’ from one area of the room or another, practicing walking movements repeatedly to improve motor functioning, recover and strengthen muscles, and improve coordination. Robot-assisted gait training is very new but it has long been explored for people with stroke, CP, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and more.

Wheelchairs with Stair-Climbing Capabilities

Around 50% of wheelchair users are forced to negotiate steps when entering their places of work or their homes. Unfortunately, not all properties are as accessible as the law deems they should be and, in the case of steep flights of steps, ramps are of little help. A group of students in Zurich, Switzerland has designed a groundbreaking new power chair that can literally climb stairs. It has tank-like treads and a Segway balance system that enables users to negotiate stairs in a reverse position while remaining 100% safe. The chair, called the ‘Scavelo’, can be driven on staircases of around 34 to 17 degrees—that means that they can be used on practically every staircase. The students’ aim was to eliminate the need for ramps and stairlifts, which can be costly or inconvenient to install.

The world is looking brighter for people with mobility issues, thanks to new developments in technology. From communication apps right through to tank-like wheelchairs, technology is making it easier for individuals to study, work, and interact socially. Many new innovations (for instance, the robotic Exoskeleton), meanwhile, are helping prevent the secondary effects that remaining in a seating position can have.

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Edward Cullens
I am Edward Cullens passionate of internet stuff such as blogging, affiliate marketing and most important, I like to trade domain and website. If you are inside digital marketing, let's connect us for future opportunities I am currently working at Techlipz.com.