Assistive technology includes systems and services that are relevant to maintaining and improving one’s functionality and independence. These services and systems aim to promote well-being and they vary according to need and usage.
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9 Important Facts You Need to Know:
- In a recent study, the World Health Organization (WHO) found out that there are over 1 billion individuals with a disability who need one or maybe more assistive devices across the globe
- By 2030, 3 billion or more people will at least need one device due to the surge of non-communicable diseases and the worldwide ageing population
- As of today, only 1 out of 10 persons in need of assistive technology has access to it.
- An estimated 200 million persons suffering from low vision don’t have access to required devices
- 466 million individuals worldwide experience loss of hearing with the production of hearing aids meeting just under 10% of global requirement
- Out of 75 million who require a wheelchair, there is just an estimated 5 -15% who can access to a single unit
- Countries that have low income cannot afford to own any assistive device
- Around 75% among low-income countries don’t have orthotics and prosthetic training programmes in place
- Countries recorded having a high prevalence of disability conditions are those having the lowest number of technology-skilled health workers
This shows that aside from having low income, shortage of skilled workers, and availability of some devices, the unmet requirements for assistive products have to be addressed. This is very vital to providing UHC and achieving sustainable development goals. It is also crucial in the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as approved by 177 member nations.
Who benefits from Assistive technology?
- Older people
- Disabled persons
- Those who have mental health issues such as autism or dementia
- People affected with non-communicable diseases like stroke or diabetes
- Individuals with a gradual decline in functionality
It can make significant effects on people with cognitive or physical impairments where it:
- Assists in communication and learning
- Enables participation at work or in varying social environments
- Helps patients to achieve independence
- Motivates them to do more and encourages self-help in improving quality of life
The Australian population, in general, benefits from using various assistive technology products in their everyday lives according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Here’s a rough estimate: one out of five Australian citizens own a disability or mobility limitation equivalent to 17.7% of the country’s population or 4.4 million individuals. These figures were taken in 2018.
Assistive Technology as a Requirement
People with debilitative conditions that have rendered them disabled are in dire need of rehabilitative measures. These products were created for the purpose of assisting patients in their journey toward recovery and for some, independence.
Aside from these, there are services geared to augment assistive devices to make the process work accordingly. Putting matters under the guidance of well-trained and seasoned caregiving professionals is more promising. This is because, without proper guidance and assistance, assistive technology devices and gadgets may not work for the benefit of the users.