Assistive technological know-how



Assistive technological innovation permits persons to stay healthier, effective, independent, and dignified lives, and to participate in instruction, the labour current market and civic life. Assistive engineering cuts down the require for formal health and aid expert services, lengthy-expression care and the perform of caregivers. Without assistive technological know-how, people are usually excluded, isolated, and locked into poverty, thus raising the effect of ailment and incapacity on a person, their household, and modern society.

Who can advantage from assistive engineering?

Persons who most require assistive technology include things like:

  • people with disabilities
  • more mature folks
  • people with noncommunicable diseases these kinds of as diabetic issues and stroke
  • individuals with mental wellness ailments which includes dementia and autism
  • people with gradual functional decline.

Wellness, nicely-becoming and socioeconomic positive aspects

Assistive know-how can have a optimistic affect on the overall health and very well-remaining of a person and their household, as effectively as broader socioeconomic benefits. For case in point:

  • Proper use of listening to aids by younger children potential customers to enhanced language skills, devoid of which a individual with hearing reduction has severely constrained options for instruction and work (1).
  • Guide wheelchairs raise access to instruction and work whilst decreasing health care prices owing to a reduction in the possibility of strain sores and contractures.
  • Assistive engineering can permit more mature persons to carry on to stay at dwelling and delay or avert the need for lengthy-expression treatment (2).
  • Therapeutic footwear for diabetes lowers the incidence of foot ulcers, protecting against decreased limb amputations and the involved stress on health systems (3).



Pretty couple nations have a countrywide assistive technological know-how policy or programme.

In several countries, accessibility to assistive technological know-how in the public sector is lousy or non-existent. Even in high-earnings countries, assistive merchandise are often rationed or not incorporated inside of overall health and welfare schemes, foremost to higher out-of-pocket payments by customers and their people.

For example, it is typical plan in a range of European nations for the state to provide older folks with only 1 hearing support, inspite of the truth that most men and women with age associated hearing decline involve 2 listening to aids to operate.

Products and solutions

The assistive products and solutions industry is presently constrained and specialised, generally serving significant-earnings markets. There is a lack of state funding, nationwide company delivery devices, user-centred analysis and improvement, procurement systems, good quality and security standards, and context-suitable merchandise style and design.


In significant-profits nations around the world companies are frequently stand-by yourself and not integrated. Folks are compelled to show up at multiple appointments at different locations, which are pricey and increase to the load on users as very well as caregivers, and on overall health and welfare budgets.

In quite a few very low- and center-earnings nations, national provider supply for assistive goods does not exist. All those who can find the money for them obtain assistive solutions direct from a pharmacy, non-public clinic, or workshop.

People today from the poorer sectors of culture need to count on erratic donations or charity expert services, which typically target on providing significant quantities of small-good quality or utilized merchandise. These are typically not correct for the person or the context, and lack mechanisms for fix and observe up. A comparable situation is also frequent in unexpected emergency reaction programmes.


Experienced health and fitness personnel are necessary for the good prescription, fitting, consumer education, and abide by-up of assistive merchandise. With out these important measures, assistive goods are often of no gain or abandoned, and they may even lead to physical hurt (as is the case of providing wheelchairs without having pressure reduction cushions for individuals with spinal damage).

Assistive technological know-how in just common well being coverage 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Progress destinations superior health and fitness and effectively-staying at the centre of a new progress vision. It emphasizes universal wellbeing coverage (UHC) to guarantee a sustainable progress for all, so that anyone everywhere you go can entry the wellbeing providers essential without having experiencing money hardship. 

Universal Wellbeing Protection can be sophisticated inclusively only if persons are able to accessibility quality assistive products and solutions when and where by they have to have them.

Addressing the unmet need to have of assistive products is vital to attain the Sustainable Enhancement Goals, to deliver UHC, and to apply the UN Conference on the Rights of People with Disabilities, ratified by 177 nations around the world.

‘Leaving no one particular behind’ implies making sure the persons with disabilities, the older population and individuals impacted by long-term health conditions are integrated in culture and enabled to reside a healthful and dignified lifestyle.

WHO reaction

WHO is coordinating the World Cooperation on Assistive Know-how (GATE), which exists to enhance entry to substantial-good quality cost-effective assistive technological know-how for all people, almost everywhere. The GATE initiative is establishing 4 useful resources to assist nations around the world to address the worries explained over.

WHO sees the GATE initiative as a concrete move towards knowing the plans of the UN Conference on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, universal health coverage and the Sustainable Enhancement Objectives.

The GATE initiative will fortify WHO’s global method on men and women-centred and integrated well being services throughout the lifespan, as effectively as motion ideas on noncommunicable health conditions, ageing and health and fitness, incapacity and psychological wellbeing.

(1) Worldwide load of childhood listening to impairment and illness regulate priorities for building nations around the world.
Olusanya BO, Newton VE. Lancet. 2007 Apr 14369(9569):1314-7.

(2) Can adapting the households of older people today and providing assistive technological know-how pay back its way?
Lansley P, McCreadie C, Tinker A. Age Ageing. 2004 Nov33(6):571-6. Epub 2004 Sep 3.3

(3) Footwear and offloading interventions to stop and mend foot ulcers and reduce plantar strain in people with diabetic issues: a systematic evaluation.
Bus SA, van Deursen RW, Armstrong DG, Lewis J, Caravaggi CF, Cavanagh PR. Worldwide Doing work Team on the Diabetic Foot.

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