Assistive Technology Definition
Assistive technology enables peoples to lead healthy, productive, independent, and dignified lives and participate in education, the job market, and social life.
Also, assistive technology reduces the need for formal health and support services and chronic care and caregivers’ workload.
In the absence of technology, certain people are often excluded, isolated, and plunged into poverty, making the consequences of illness or disability more burdensome for the person, their family, and society.
And to date, only one in 10 people need access to assistive technology due to its high cost, low awareness of the subject, lack of stocks, trained personnel, and policies on the matter and financing.
Who can Benefit from Assistive Technology?
- The people who need it most are.
- And people with a disability
- And older adults
- People with non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and stroke
- And people with mental health disorders, including dementia and autism
- And people affected by progressive functional impairment
1. Health Well-being, and Socioeconomic Benefits
- Assistive technology positively impacts an individual and the families’ health and well-being and has more general socio economic benefits.
- The appropriate use of hearing aids for young children translates into improved language skills. And without a person with a hearing loss substantially diminished educational and employment opportunities.
- It also uses manual wheelchairs to facilitate access to education and employment while reducing health care costs by reducing the risk of pressure ulcers and contractures.
- Assistive technology makes it possible for older people to continue living at home and delays or prevents the need for chronic care.
- Therapeutic footwear for diabetics reduces the incidence of foot ulcers, which prevents lower limb amputations and reduces the burden that all this imposes on health systems.
2. Global unmet need for Assistive Technology
- Many peoples need assistive technology but do not have access to it. The following examples are worth illustrating the unmet global needs in this area.
- And two hundred million visually impaired people lack access to vision enhancement devices. Seventy-five million people need a wheelchair, but only 5% to 15% of them have one.
- Also, four hundred sixty-six million peoples suffer from hearing loss. But even current hearing aid productions meet less than 10% of global needs.
- And a severe shortage of workers in it. More than 75% of low-income countries lack training programs in prosthetics and orthotics.
- The countries highest prevalence of disability-related health problems tend with a smaller contingent of health workers trained to offer assistive technology (just two professionals per 10,000 inhabitants).
- And in low-income countries, one of the main reasons that assistive products are not available to those in need is that they are not affordable.
What is Assistive Technology within Universal Health Coverage?
- Firstly, in the 2030 Agenda, Sustainable development places good health and well-being at the center of a new development vision.
- Secondly, and also emphasizes universal health coverage to ensure sustainable development for all. So that anyone, anywhere, can access the health services you need without having to face financial difficulties.
- Lastly, universal health coverage can only advance inclusively. People can access care products when they need them and where they need them.
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