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2022 Ultimate Collection - Assistive Technology, Health & Independence (Top 60+ Products)

Updated: May 16, 2022





In what can feel like the cluttered landscape of technology, it’s hard to figure out whether we don’t know enough about the choices that are now available, or we are in fact overwhelmed by them.


For all the things that change in life (including technology), there is one thing that doesn’t. Human beings matter to each other, and if there is a way to make the journey easier, we can and we should. Not only easier, but leveraging what is available to be healthier, prevent conditions, and be active with our voice, social interactions, and ability to share and contribute.


This article is for anyone who doesn’t want their physical health or learning challenges to dictate their ability to live with independence. It’s for parents or carers who know that for all the things we can’t impact on, there are many things we can.

In this article, we focus on consumer technology-related products that may help with independence, health, or empowerment.


Because technology changes quickly, we’ll keep an online and interactive copy of these product suggestions here. You can also sign up to be kept updated.


By bringing together people, care, and the world’s best technology, both small - and sometimes extraordinary - new things are possible.


This Guide tells you...

What you can get help with

A Guide and List of Technology Products


We independently find, review, and translate the world’s best assistive, health, and home technology towards our mission of changing the way the world thinks about what we’re capable of at any age or health situation. (See our story, and what we do). Check out the section at the end for how to get better outcomes.


 

Category: Communicating


Interacting socially is important for wellbeing, safety, and happiness. Products based on technology are available to help with calling and messaging, making it easier for those that are challenged with hearing, vision, cognition, memory, mobility or dexterity, or the inability to form speech. Features available include:

  • large buttons, controlled by voice commands

  • amplified for hearing or hearing aids, flashing alerts, captions, and video for lip-reading or signing

  • photo dialing for memory or cognitive challenges

  • braille

Devices available include home phones, simplified mobile phones, smartphones, video phones, home hubs, tablets, smart smartwatches watches or dedicated AAC devices.


Highlighted products for easier communication include:


1. General Accessibility Settings on Smartphones and Tablets. Devices with an operating system from the major providers will have impressive ‘Accessibility settings’ that address all forms of communication augmentation. In this category, a standard smartphone can be set to hear or see more clearly. See what’s possible with Apple accessibility, Microsoft accessibility, and Google’s Android accessibility settings. Refer later in this article ‘Working, Playing, Relaxing’ for more information.


2. Smart mobile phone. Apple iPhone. This is a strong all-rounder for calling, video call, and messaging, via many accessibility features to see, hear, sign, captions, touch, voice control, and ‘shortcuts’. Pair it with a range of convenient and ruggedized straps or cases to make handling easier. Setup 'shortcuts' to call and message more easily as part of a routine eg. “Good morning” reads the news, appointments, and sends a message to the family that you are up and about. See also shortcuts to turn on accessibility settings.

3. Simplified mobile phone. Like the KISA or Senior Cell Phone. This reduces confusion and augments vision, hearing, and memory. Amplified and hearing aid compatible sound, photo dialing, SOS, and a braille version. It's designed to help the blind, early-onset, elderly, or cognitively challenged. This one is available in Australia, though the link will direct you to a similar US product - otherwise check out what's available with your local telecommunication provider.

4. Home phone. Oricom Care Phone - Home phone with features addressing hearing, vision, memory, and cognitive needs. Features include photo dialing, amplified ring, flashing lights, and a hearing aid compatibility setting.

5. Dedicated video home phone. Konnekt. Is a table-top video phone that assists with easy dialing, assistance with non-verbal communication, a touch screen, and bringing you closer.

6. Smart home hubs and voice assistants. Google Nest & Amazon Echo Show. Allow voice calling, auto-answer, family drop-in, sending messages, and setting up routines, for example, to let someone know when you’re home, awake, or ‘goodnight’ that will send a message to the family that you’re safe in bed and won’t be answering the phone.

7. Braille smartwatch. The DOT Braille Watch Helps if you're able to read braille, to check messages, caller IDs, time, date, alarms, timer, or stopwatch. Beautifully designed, the DOT Watch can last 10 days with 1 charge.


Highlighted products for those unable to form speech or communicate:


8. Devices for speaking. (Augmented and Assistive Communication - ACC).

GoTalk & Ablenet. AAC devices that come both in a dedicated portable form for pointing to speak words, sounds, and feelings and as an app or computer accessory. GoTalk range includes Go, Select, and Now. Ablenet range includes Tracker and QuickTalker. Proloquo2Go is another excellent App for speech generation.


Tobii Dynavox is a dedicated speech generating device, with an advanced ‘core word’ framework that continuously grows vocabulary and literacy skills, while empowering communication success and independence, and capabilities that go beyond speech communication for access to social media, email, or texting.


9. Eye Tracking on iPad for communication via ACC apps and everyday social and video messaging apps. Skyle. Eye Tracking and AAC. This is an advanced eye tracker for the iPad Pro, enabling AAC and speaking through any iPad compatible speech-generating communication application such as Proloquo2Go, GoTalk NOW, TouchChat, Compass Connect & Predictable. Communication is also enabled through channels such as email, messaging, social media, video calling et,c.

10. Clinically proven online speech therapy for Autism, Down Syndrome, and Speech-delay. Gemiini. This teaches reading & Behavioral Skills. It is a globally available, clinically proven, online program to teach the speech, reading, language, life, and social skills we use in our daily interactions. See also Cosmo for interactive therapy for young people including communication skills, and features for families, therapists and educators.


11. Hearing aid type device for assisting those with Parkinson’s to speak. SpeechVive is similar to a hearing-aid shape and can assist with a slower, louder, and clearer speech by playing a background noise in your ear when you start to speak.


 

Category: Being safe and Independent at Home



Being safe at home empowers independence, with assistive technologies helping you to:

  • Be secure when you can’t get to the door or need to check visitors

  • Prevent mishaps if you can’t see, smell, hear, remember or reach doors, smoke, carbon monoxide, or leaks

  • Check you’re ok via opening the door for a neighbor to check-in, helping with lost or forgotten keys, detecting movement or lack of movement by dropping into a room or, checking an internal or external camera

  • Easily or remotely control appliances, temperature, and activating lights that can prevent falls and increase wellbeing


We have not included the independent living aids such as products helping with steps, showering, slipping, etc due to our technology focus - and the abundance of information already available in the area.



Highlighted products for home access, security, and visitors:


12. Smart Door Locks. August, Yale & Wyze Smart door locks that provide security of who’s entering, if carers or help has arrived and tracking their entry, help with forgotten keys, neighbors popping in if there’s a problem, and the ability to check, lock or open remotely. These can usually be fitted quickly and sit alongside existing locks to avoid confusion. Entry can be voice, pin, one-time pin, fingerprint or mobile, remote. Read how this can assist with Loneliness.


13. Video Doorbells. Arlo, Ring, or, Eufy. These can remove the need for making it to the door [in time, in the dark or at all], bring safety you know who’s at the gate, allow designated friends or family to receive the call and talk to the visitor or delivery, especially if unexpected or after hours. It’s a bit like being home for someone you care about and getting the door for them.

14. Outside Security Cameras. Arlo, Eufy & Nest. These help with the scenarios above, though the main difference is that the doorbell isn’t the trigger. We’ve included security cameras in assistive devices because these help friends and family know or get alerts if there are unexpected visitors or movement, intruders, or wandering. These can be wireless, have spotlights, solar-charging and most have two-way talk.


Highlighted Products for ease and safety within the home:


15. Door and window sensors. Philips, Samsung & Eve. These detect if doors and windows are open, closed or movement is detected and action is required. Maybe you’re home alone and wondering, or you are remote and making sure someone you love is safe and sound.


16. Smoke and air quality sensors. Nest & Eve Helping live independently and letting yourself or your family know if there is smoke or carbon monoxide in the air. These can be programmed to check remotely, send a text or call and sound a siren or flash a light if there’s a concern.


17. Movement, Lights, Plugs, and Appliances. Philips, Samsung & Eve. These sensors, lights, and smart plugs detect movement, trigger lights in the night to prevent falls or welcome you home, set temperature, switch on or off appliances, or understand you’re up ok. If you don’t want to connect to smart lights, even the stick-on movement detection lights can keep you safe if you live alone or are unsteady on your feet.

18. Utensils for Eating. Gyenno & Liftware. Specifically targeted to help with tremors or instability of hand or arm movements. According to tests, shaking can be reduced by up to 70%, allowing for enjoyment and participation at home or out. 19. Accessible Clothing. Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive Clothing - Here’s a mainstream brand with a range of clothing to make it easier for people to dress independently. The range includes features that assist with limited mobility, stature, reach, dexterity, amputees, and aging. Eg. magnetic buttons, Also great to see Nike’s adaptive brand.



Highlighted products for Family dropping in to be closer or check-in:


20. Smart home hubs and voice assistants. Google Nest & Amazon Echo Show. This might be useful for when you miss each other, a chat while you’re getting dinner or if a phone call isn't answered or an alarm goes off and you’re not sure about driving over. Assistive and accessibility settings are plentiful, lip-reading or signing is possible, and auto-face tracking and group calls bring you closer - whether you are voice activating calls to friends and family, or they are calling you.

21. Indoor Cameras. Arlo & Wyze. Similar to the above home hub use cases, except the video is one way. Beautifully designed to blend in. Helpful for understanding behaviors and adjusting a care plan, investigating concerns, or talking two ways if you, for example, see there’s been a fall alert by the back steps and you want to give comfort. There are many good options so check what’s available to fit your needs and make up your own mind. Baby monitors can also double up to help people of any age and with breathing and movement alerts, such as the handy Lollipop range.


 

Category: Managing and Monitoring Health, and Rehabilitation


Being well and independent means understanding what your body is doing, and being able to manage, prevent, predict or share your insights with others. According to the World Health Organisation, up to 70% of chronic diseases are preventable.


Wearing technology (wearables) allows measures to be taken continuously, with the benefit of capturing levels like breathing, activity, blood oxygen, and heart rate.


These can be used to understand what your body is doing, for example, poor sleep or low breathing and blood oxygen levels can make you tired in the morning. These are not life-saving devices, always consult your health professional, and take their advice.



Highlighted products for all-rounder capture of health insights (wearables):


22. Wearable health data capture devices. Apple Watch, Fitbit Sense, Garmin. capturing heart rate, skin temperature, blood oxygen levels,, and activity. The Apple Watch is one of the most advanced in detecting irregular afib and blood oxygen levels. Combined with the Apple Health App (and potentially the new Apple fitness subscription service). These are brands widely available, have well-developed health apps, and a wide ecosystem of partner apps and accessories. (Battery is the thing to watch). The Oura ring and Amazon’s new Halo have mixed reviews in their early-stage products, but are reputable brands or products, and represent the future of health so worth checking out.

23. Wearable health data capture - specialist heart and sleep. Withings HR, Scanwatch and Move ECG range as a wearable are particularly advanced in heart, with ECG readings, activity, sleep, and one of the longest in battery life - between 30 days and 12 months depending on the model. ScanWatch is the first hybrid smartwatch to continuously scan vital parameters to detect heart health conditions and help improve overall fitness. It was developed with professionals from world-renowned institutions, particularly for heart and hypoxia. Sharing and trends are accessible via the Health mate App, with visual charts, and the ability to share and store history via the app.


Highlighted products for assessing health measures (not wearable):


24. Medical devices for assessing and testing (non-wearable)

Wellue & iHealth. Both of these are strong performers in assessing and testing health measures and signs. Wellue’s thermometers, blood pressure monitors, Oxygen levels for children and adults. iHealth’s blood pressure monitor, scales, and product bundles for glucose, sleep, and oxygen. Good sleep and oxygen levels are a basic building block for good health, so the O2 products show graphs and data for sleeping, snoring, or holding your breath and reducing oxygen levels. The silent vibration alarm in the ring alerts you immediately when low oxygen, low heart rate, or high heart rate is detected. Easily press the “share” button to let your family or doctor see how you’re doing.


25. Medical devices specifically for assessing and testing Heart measures

Kardia, Qardiocore, and Duo Ek chest strap, are specialist devices for assisting in the early detection of potential problems such as Arrhythmia, Heart Pause, ​Atrial Fibrillation (AF), Tachycardia & Bradycardia, and ​Premature Atrial Contractions. Kardia is a mobile phone accessory, Qardiocore a wearable, and the DuoEk a chest strap. This may be useful for active people with a heart concern, just discharged from the hospital and feeling nervous, those wanting to exercise with more confidence to see what’s happening as you do.


26. Smartphone Apps for Health. Espy for Epilepsy, Medisafe, My Therapy , Sleep Check for Apnea & MySugr . Smartphone apps for managing medication, symptoms, and health measures and levels.

27. Advanced medical testing devices. HD Steth, Wellue Checkme Pro & Duo ECG + Digital Stethoscope. Advanced testing units. These devices are medical-grade, small units you, or a carer or partner, can use to help keep an eye on vital measures, and send or share the results.

28. Smart Clothing Hexoskin & Sensoria Smart Socks. A range of products that track biometric performance via smart clothing. They wouldn’t be considered Assistive tech, however, you may have an assistive need, and be in training or at high performance, in which case tracking heart, skin temperature, activity, and measuring gait may assist understanding performance or preventing injury. The Siren smart sock has recently been used in diabetes to detect skin temperature to prevent ulcers and in Parkinson’s trials.


Highlighted products for monitoring and sending health alerts to friends or family:


Given the assistive technology and health focus of this list, there is a scenario where you may be monitoring someone, for a condition that may well occur and require attention. This can limit independence out of concern an event may occur.


There are four devices to highlight as examples that may assist in this case.


29. Notification of convulsive seizures.

Smartwatch. Embrace Empatica This device is designed to detect seizures, with the ability to send an alert or make a call to let someone know.

Smartwatch App. Smart Monitor Inspyre - Smartwatch App For detecting repetitive shaking or seizures instead of worrying you won’t know. We like this product for the specifics of detecting significant shaking, detecting abnormal behavior, tracking heart, and sending alerts and data to authorized people. Within seconds, family members receive these alerts which include the date, time, location, and duration of the event. SmartWatch Inspyre™ users can also summon help with the push of a button. Alerts can be sent to any phone, anywhere, and detailed reports of each event can be securely accessed for later review with physicians.


30. Notification of Irregular Heart/Afib. Apple Watch for Heart conditions. The ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature help users identify signs of AFib, the most common form of irregular heart rhythm. When left untreated, AFib can lead to stroke, the second most common cause of death around the world. We’ve covered this in an earlier point, for its ability to detect irregular heart activity and send a notification.


31. Notification of Sleep apnea or concerns. Withings Sleep Mat or O2 Ring. Both of these record sleep, breathing, and movement and can vibrate to wake you or record data to alert others.


Highlighted products that may assist with Rehabilitation, Movement, or Recovery:



32. Improving neuro-related recovery. Fitmi Home Therapy. It’s a home neurorehab device designed for recovery, improving your ability to walk and use your affected side by exercising the full-body including hands Arms Core Legs FDA listed neurorehab that helps improve mobility for hands, arms, core, and legs. Used in more than 10,000 homes and hospitals. The Music Therapy Glove is a similar product promoting motor skill recovery with. a musical set of exercises.


33. Specialized Physical Therapy eg. Parkinson’s. PD Warrior. An online exercise therapy program specifically for conditions such as Parkinson’s and others, designed by a neuro physiotherapist with compelling reviews and a dedicated team, across worldwide locations. Other products for Parkinson’s, known as forced exercise, include the Motomed and Theracycle. The Garmin Vector 3 Power Meter Bike Pedals may also be helpful, as they measure power output of each leg and position on the pedal, to high degree (3%) of accuracy.

34. Speaking and walking for dyslexia or Parkinson’s. Beats Medical. A medical class one app and subscription service designed to assist with speech and walking in children or adults with dyspraxia or Parkinson’s. 35. Cognitive Therapy App. Constant Therapy. Constant Therapy is a speech, language, and cognitive therapy app for smartphones and tablets. It’s designed to support people recovering from stroke or other types of brain injury, or for those living with neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

36. Wearable Pain Relief. Quell Wearable Pain Relief. Designed to relieve chronic pain in the back, legs, and feet. A smartphone is required. Quell combines prescription strength TENS and wearable technology to create a pain relief option that can be used during the day while active and at night when sleeping. 37. Advanced stroke rehabilitation. ReWalk Exo-suite is provided as an example product set for stroke rehabilitation, which may be used by health professionals.



 

Category: Getting Help or Being Found


These may be assistive in nature when giving independence to:

  • Locating those with Autism, Dementia, Alzheimers, or anyone who may need to be located. Features include two-way talk, a sos button, sending map location, SMS or making a call. Triggers can be set either by the person needing help, a family member or carer checking their location or by a geofence being set, eg. leaving home, school, or the neighborhood

  • Detecting falls

  • Setting or sending reminders for appointments, medication or things to be done such as eating, drinking or moving.


Choices include whether your preference is a watch, pendant, alarm, or wearable. It's best to make a plan to help with falls, before you need it. Also consider how someone would access your loved ones home eg. smart lock or lockbox if needed.


Highlighted products for Getting Reminders and Help:


For many people, independence to live alone, be left alone, or go out to school, work or travel means being able to get help when you do need it, for example, falls, feeling unwell, or remembering to take medication or attend appointments. For those around you, it’s peace of mind that even if you don’t need help, there’s backup if you do.


38. Specialist Clocks, Calendars,, and Reminders. Robin, Memrabel & Visual Clock help with remembering the day, time, and your schedule, and can enable both you and your family or caregivers to set appointments as needed, with voice or visual cues. 39. App for Medication Reminders and Alerts, MediSafe App - A well rated App for a phone or tablet, helping to remember medication including letting family members know if medication appears to have been missed. Other handy features including managing prescriptions and warning about medication interactions.


40. Automatic Pill/Medication Dispenser. LiveFine A physical device that assists with reminders and automation pill dispensing. You or your caregivers can program, monitor, and administer doses for up to 28 days. Reminders come with audio and visual alerts. There are many similar products on the market. 41. Personal SOS Alarm, Suresafe for detecting falls and calling for help. There are many good options with varying levels of sophistication, and options to call service providers or family. These products are usually specific to local countries due to that they contain a sim card from a local telecoms provider, and may provide a local monitoring service to answer for you or dispatch help. SureSafe distributes in the USA, UK, and Australia.


42. Fall Detection and Emergency calling smartwatch. Apple Watch - Peace of mind for calling or automatically detecting and alerting you or loved ones when a fall is detected. This is likely best suited to people with good memory and comfort with technology, early-onset conditions, or a with a single concern eg. heart or falls. Make a daily routine to help charge it and wear it.


43. Wearable GPS Tracker in the shoe sole. GPS Smartsole - Anti-lost Tracking sensor. Peace of mind for finding those you love that won’t remember, or don’t want to, carry a watch or personal alarm. For those managing Alzheimers or autism, this product contains a 4G sim within a pair of insoles, to help keep loved ones safe and able to locate someone or receive an alert for movement, in the event of wandering or becoming lost. Not supported by all markets. Personal alarms and GPS locator devices are available in many forms and subscription plans. Always respect privacy.


44. GPS locator tags. Similar to those you find on luggage. Products like the Jiobit, or Tracki available in the USA, have a week-long battery life, are waterproof, and attach discreetly to belts, bags, or clothing. Check the coverage. Devices like Tiles and Apple's new Airtags, require a network of similar devices to be leveraged to find yours. Always seek permission where possible.


 

Category: Getting Out and Moving Around


Getting help to move around or go out is enjoyable, empowering, and a valuable part of maintaining mental and physical motivation and wellbeing.


Highlighted products that assist with walking or standing:


These products may assist to stay active and reduce the risk of falls, give support to stand, improve gait or provide directions.


45. A new generation of Walking frames, features, and accessories.


Rollz. This range is well designed, modern, and has features like a walking frame, converts to a wheelchair, and accessories including assistance for gait freezing, holding an umbrella, and a range of colors to attract those not otherwise keen to use one.

UStep. The U-Step Walking Stabilizer leverages technology to increase independence and eliminate falling among those with neurological conditions. The walking aid is advanced in its stability, maneuverability, and control and includes gait unfreezing technology.

46. Assistance to unfreeze gait. Agilitas & Pathfinder. A focus on assisting with unfreezing gait, one with a click-on attachment for frames, a belt or walking stick, the other an attachment for the front of your shoes.

47. Harness to reduce the impact of falls. Drop Support. Can assist with walking, and is intended to be used by walking with assistance. It may be stability, seizures, or other conditions such as Epilepsy, Alzheimer's, Muscular Dystrophy, Physical Therapy, Seniors, or Parkinson’s that may cause a person to fall. The benefits are monitoring, stabilizing, responding to a fall, and altering the course of a fall. Available for children and adults, with many positive reviews and benefits reported.


48. Smart walking cane. We Walk Smart Walking Cane. A smart cane and smartphone app, Enhancing the mobility of visually impaired people through a smart cane and smartphone app. It detects obstacles, has guidance for the visually impaired, and can search nearby places and surroundings.


Highlighted products for mobility and independence in the categories of Trikes, Scooters, and Wheelchairs:


These can assist in replacing a driver's license for local travel to friends, shops, chores, engaging with the community, relaxation, or exercise.


49. Scooters of a new generation. Travelscoot, Atto Mobility or Relync. These are all impressive in their design, lightness of weight, and foldable yet robust. There are many providers and choices on the market. Suitability across these products for children and adults.

50. Electric Trikes to get around. Trikes are available as pedal or electric, with front or back storage and levels of balance and style.


51. Wheelchairs


Whill Ultra Lightweight & Portable & Whill - Model A: Indoor/Outdoor are both well designed, modern, and innovative with features like patented front omni-wheels, electromagnetic brakes, independent suspension, anti-tip bars, and an app that allows others to do the driving for you if needed.


OPair Wheelchair Trike bike can be split to work on its own, or with a friend. The driver can sit up behind the chair, giving a full view ahead. It’s adjustable for children and adults and may assist in building relationships due to the enjoyment of being out together.

Dinkum navigator works the other way around, ie. the electric wheelchair drives the chair, with an add-on trailer to tow or ‘dinky’ a passenger. This is worth a mention as an attachment to a chair to take a passenger. Good for family, siblings, or friends.

A notable mention for the Loop+. This compact mat-like device sits under the wheelchair cushion for checking real-time pressure distribution, for example after a transfer or after sitting idle for long periods to understand your position compared to your calibrated center.


 

Category: Working, Playing, Learning & Relaxing



Benefits of this product set include being able to:

  • Operate or control, see, hear or reach a computer, with access to the internet, applications, and productivity

  • Hold or have a portable option via stands and cases

  • Learn, join communities, read, play music, games or be creative

  • Relax, be calm and meditate or care for those you love

  • Participate in the gig economy to earn money flexibility or utilize the services


Highlighted products for using a Computer:


52. Assistive settings to control phones, tablets, or computers with Apple, Google Android, and Microsoft installed as a base (the operating system). Rather than recommending devices from the many on the market:

  • Choose a device that suits you, either tablet, laptop, or desktop. The world opens up when you can hold a device, control it, and get the right amount of portability.

  • Customize the Assistive and Accessibility functionality available (usually Settings, Accessibility..). Accessibility settings can help with large text, typing as you speak, speaking as you type, reading pages out aloud, amplifying hearing, adjusting touch sensitivity, closed captions, colors and typefaces, and more re neurodiversity (seizures, dyslexia, autism, or other cognitive differences)

53. Eye-tracking devices for controlling computers with your gaze. Skyle, Tobii Dynavox, or Ablenet. These are eye trackers for computers, enabling for example to control the devices and all their applications completely with your eyes, including access to all applications on the iPad for example Skype and augmentative & alternative communication (AAC) for speech. 54. Stands and Cases. A wide range of stands, cases, and brackets are available including flexible arms, wall mounts, ruggedized cases with easy grips, inbuilt or wireless chargers, and straps.


55. Internet services, apps, and voice assistants. Tens of millions of apps and voice commands are available on Google Play or Apple’s App Store, or via the inbuilt voice assistants such as Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa ‘skills.’

With access to control a computer, tablet, or voice assistant, an almost unlimited set of tasks and functions become possible:

  • Personal admin like banking, shopping, booking appointments

  • Audiobooks Audible, Storytel, or Kindle for audiobooks to read aloud

  • Games or communities to stay sharp

  • Online Courses such as Coursera, Udemy or Youtube


Highlighted products to play, learn or relax include:




56. Apps to meditate or motivate. Breathe2relax, HeadSpace & Elly. Apps to help calm and develop mechanisms for peace, motivation, and wellbeing. Anxiety, stress, depression, and inability to focus can be associated with chronic conditions and pain. These services help develop positive mental health and wellbeing. Headspace is used by more than 40 million people globally. Elly is a specialist in chronic disease.

57. Headband to measure brain activity for calm and focus. Muse. A health device that understands brain activity and relaxation. Research-grade EEG device that passively senses your brain activity and helps you stay calm & focused. Muse is a science-based brain fitness tool that measures brain signals much like a heart rate monitor senses your heartbeat.

58. Accessible technology-enabled products to learn and play. Skoog Music, Blipbox Educational, and accessible play devices. Skoog Suitable for MLD, SLD, and PMD, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, children with global delay, genetic conditions, sensory impairments o,r autism. Both Skoog and Blipbox are tactile musical instruments that are unique in their level of accessibility for all ages. No prior ability is needed. We also like the Cosmo, which is aimed at the early years and young people with special educational and therapy needs, It supports development of physical, cognitive and communication skills.


59. Robotic Sensor Pets. Companion Pets - These can assist with managing the loneliness and anxiety associated with children, adults, or seniors that affect wellbeing. Thanks to built-in sensor technology, Companion Pets respond to petting and motion much like the pets you know and love, but don’t require any special care or feeding. Tombot is new and super cute.


60. Music. A range of music, controlled by your voice, can be relaxing and is proven to help calm, delight, or remember. We’d recommend a Google Nest or Alexa Dot range of home hubs or smart speakers, combined with a service like Amazon, Google, Apple, or Spotify music. Features include setting up playlists, sleep timers by the bed, or remotely playing meditation music for example if you’ve talked with a loved one who’s having trouble falling asleep, or they are prompted to “play sleepy music”.


 

Benefits


Benefits of assistive technology include

  • Happiness and wellbeing. Being close to those we love makes you happier, safer and enables independence, which also helps keep you active due to maintaining daily tasks and chores.

  • Productive and contributing through being able to work, learn, or create in any setting from home, in a company, start a company, at school, in a project team, on an issue, or pursuing a hobby

  • Engagement with friends and the community

  • Improved health - predict, prevent, manage and share with your doctor.

  • Reduced impact of being unattended after a fall, when help arrives quickly and recovery is shorter.

  • Higher levels of independence and safety, for social and economic reasons, as doors and windows are secure, reminders can prompt you to do what keeps your family well, mishaps are prevented and help is securely provided

  • Peace of mind for family and carers, knowing you can check-in, and get or give help.

  • Reduced cost associated with good health and reduced reliance on carer or accommodation.


 

How to Get Outcomes




There’s no replacement for spending time with those we love. Technology will not replace the care, or empathy of being together; nor the care and experience of health professionals and carers.


Step 1: Talk about what’s important and what you’re hoping to get help with. It may be that they want to stay home and reassure the family that they can check-in if needed. It may be wanting to exercise but being unsure of a condition, or recently out of the hospital. The goal is to want what the technology gives you.


Step 2: Find out what’s possible. Browse products and ideas together and see what might suit you. Discuss it with your family and health professional, for input and help.


Step 3: Buy and set them up to get started. When they arrive, set them up with chargers, and settings. For example, the smoke alarm to alert family, cameras to detect movement outside during the night and alert a family member, the Google or Alexa home hub with the contact details for voice dialing, or a smartwatch to detect falls.


Step 4: Together create new experiences and routines, like family using the new communications devices to call each other each night, brain games or rehab every morning, checking on movement each morning, sharing health updates with family or your health professional, and or starting new conversations over the news, audiobooks or communities you’ve joined.


How do you know if Technology Products are good?

When considering products, keep in mind:

  • Reviews & Ratings - how many, how recent, and what they say.

  • Reputable Brand - do they have a track record or is it approved (if medical)

  • Time on market - have they shown insight and commitment

  • Compatibility and ecosystem fit (eg accessories, standards, apps, technologies)

  • Support and Warranty Options

  • Price including is there is. a monthly fee, or service monitoring fee

  • Dependencies such as what other products. connections are needed eg android, phone, wifi


What should I consider with Health Monitoring?


There is a range of decisions and choices. It helps if you think about some of these including:

  • Know why you want it. To motivate and get fit, to share with your doctor, or understand what’s happening with your body eg. sleep and oxygen?

  • Medical grade or general accuracy? If you prefer a medical-grade health monitoring device that has an approved specialization such as heart, , ECG or blood oxygen level

  • Features? Which other features are fun or important for you eg activity, sleep, heart, reminders, calling capability

  • Continuous or occasional testing? Do you want a wearable that tracks all the time or a device you assess and test when needed eg. temperature, blood pressure, weight?

  • Practicalities. Battery life and connectivity out to a smartphone or others to share. What does the product allow you to do? Are accessories needed to carry or use it more easily?






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