Creating gadgets and tech that can improve the quality of life for people with disabilities is gradually becoming a priority of several entrepreneurs. From developing tablets that help the visually impaired read, to mobility devices that aid the movement of those with cerebral palsy; these start-ups are here to make life easier and better for persons with disabilities. With around 1 billion people living with disabilities globally, this is not only an opportunity for entrepreneurs to foster and facilitate inclusivity, but also to create a scalable business model. Here are some of the most innovative startups that are kindling a vision for people with disabilities:
Biden recently stated, “Stuttering is the only disability people still mock.”
This speech disorder keeps millions of people who stutter from expressing themselves and communicating effectively; it also diminishes their self-esteem. Sadly, not many countries consider stuttering to be a disability.
Stamurai offers cost-effective and highly affordable speech therapy for people who stutter. In several countries across the world, stuttering treatment or speech therapy isn’t affordable. Most healthcare providers don’t cover the cost of speech therapy for stuttering.
Stamurai offers an alternative for traditional speech therapy. Users receive regular updates, personalized exercises, feedback based on their practice sessions, and options to engage in a face-to-face conversation with therapists.
It is a unique AI-powered app that enables users to access speech therapy via their smartphones from the comforts of their home. Users can track their progress and share the same with the Stamurai community of users.
2. Sohum Innovation Lab
Sohum Innovation Lab was started 2012 with the dream to transform healthcare. Their pioneering products include an affordable, portable device, which can detect any hearing impairment in newborns.
Annually, around 500,000 children are born with hearing disorders. Congenital hearing loss is one of the most common birth disorders across the world. However, with timely intervention thorugh advanced testing equipment and implants, it may be possible for a child with impaired hearing to learn to communicate.
The Sohum device maps and measures the brain waves of an infant to reveal information about their hearing abilities. The information can enable the parents to find the right treatment options for their child as soon as possible depending on the results of the test.
Something as simple as brushing one’s teeth might be an insurmountable task for people with muscular dystrophy or full-body paralysis. Bluereo strives to make a small yet significant difference in the lives of millions living with similar conditions.
In 2014, the company developed the first electric suction toothbrush that makes brushing a much less taxing and less risky task for people who have trouble spitting water out. Complete with a replaceable brush and tongue cleaner, the startup from South Korea aims to make living more hygienic for people with disabilities.
PreDecub has developed a sensor-embedded mattress that can change the posture of the user for achieving utmost comfort. It is designed for those with brain trauma, brain lesions, muscular dystrophy, and myelopathy, who may be unable to move their bodies on their own.
Research shows that people with any of the aforementioned conditions may have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. They may end up feeling tired and worn out the following day. The lack of sleep can take a toll on a person’s quality of life.
The mattress design by PreDecub impacts the posture, energy, and sleep quality of the user directly.
5. Innovision (Inceptor Technologies Pvt Ltd)
Innovision was founded in 2015. It is currently developing assistive technology for the empowerment of people with visual impairment.
Braille Me is a simple yet highly efficient product that gives visually-challenged students and employees ready access to their files, books, and notes. This gadget cum technology supports Bluetooth and USB connectivity. It translates selected text files to Braille.
Its 6-Dot 20 Braille Cells make reading and accessing information easy and hassle-free for all target users.
6. Movinc (Mobearlize)
Movinc has developed a unique, tech-powered wheelchair that the user or caregiver can attach to any regular wheelchair. It is cost-efficient and ideal for all-terrain use. Movinc makes traveling much more comfortable and convenient for people with movement disorders and disabilities.
The Movinc motorized wheelchair comes with integrated IoT functionality. The user can hook up their smartphones to their wheelchair and enjoy GPS tracking, community sharing, social media sharing, and safety features.
TripleW has designed a healthcare device that can assess the physiological needs of the person wearing the device and send a signal to their care provider. It is an innovative gadget that promises to offer a better quality of life for people who may not be able to take care of themselves due to one or multiple disabilities.
The Triple W product can sense when the wearer needs to use the toilet when they are unable to sense their needs. This gadget uses ultrasound technology to measure the swelling of the bladder and send a signal.
Each of these designs, ideas, and products has won multiple awards and accolades. They show us the hope for a more inclusive future.