20 Apr 5 Innovations That Improved Life for People with Limited Mobility
The CDC estimates that 61 million American adults live with some type of disability. And 13.7% live with mobility disabilities that cause serious difficulty when walking or climbing stairs. Still, despite how common mobility disabilities are, not all businesses and institutions design their products, services, and facilities with disability needs in mind.
Fortunately, more people are taking mobility needs into consideration. Many innovations created within the past decade have helped to improve life for people with limited mobility. From smart furniture that streamlines simple tasks to crutches that reduce the load on hands and wrists, intelligently designed innovations have the potential to help people with disabilities improve many different facets of life. Let’s take a closer look.
Standard crutch designs can often place strain on the hands and wrists, which makes mobility not just difficult, but also painful. After seeing his father struggle with traditional, axillary crutches our cofounder, Max, invented the M+D Crutch. The M+D Crutch has many unique benefits including its platform mode that redistributes the user’s weight and pressure from the hands and wrists to the forearms, which have a larger surface area and can better support weight. Additionally, the M+D Crutch provides a “hands-free” feature that allows the user to reach out and use their hands without the inconvenience of setting down the crutches. Users can also use an individual M+D Crutch as an alternative to a cane if preferred.
Since the invention of his first product, Max has designed the Combo Stix, a 2-in-1 crutch design that allows the user to choose between a platform crutch or a forearm crutch depending on the environment they are in. Although the Combo Stix were built for the temporary user, our team has seen a wide range of long-term users adopt the Combo Stix into their daily lives.
Both the M+D Crutch and the Combo Stix have revolutionized the mobility aid industry, solving daily problems and providing options for users with impaired mobility. The M+D Products allow individuals the freedom and independence to live the life they deserve!
It can be difficult for people with disabilities to stay fit. Fortunately, many wearable devices can now guide people through their fitness goals, according to their bodies’ specific needs and limits. For example, the Apple Watch has a wheelchair mode that uses sensors to measure a user’s daily wheelchair movement, then sets workout goals based on the information it absorbs.
Wearable devices also have other functions. Maryville University’s article on nursing technology notes that wearable devices can be used in telehealth. Wearable devices can monitor important health data, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and physical activity levels, and deliver the information to healthcare providers. This limits the need to physically travel to medical facilities.
Safety Alert Devices
People that live with mobility impairments are at increased risk of falls, which can lead to serious fractures. Those that live alone might find it difficult to find help immediately. Safety alert devices allow users to contact emergency services or designated emergency contacts with just a click of a button. Some safety alert devices come in the form of wearable devices, while others can be placed on the walls of the user’s home.
Smart technology helps people with disabilities live more independently. Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), people with disabilities can now control home utilities and appliances using only their phones, voices, or movements. Some examples of smart devices include robot vacuum cleaners, thermostats, and lights.
Though video conferencing wasn’t invented with disabilities in mind, it’s provided many benefits for people that live with all kinds of disabilities. In particular, video conferencing allowed many organizations to transition to remote work. And when work from home setups became mainstream, people with disabilities saw more opportunities to find employment. Remote work saves the additional effort and expense of commuting, which is extremely convenient for people with limited mobility.
In an interview with CNN, The National Organization of Disability’s associate director of special projects Charles Catherine also discussed how remote work gave people with disabilities better privacy. Because video conferencing only reveals half of a person’s body, people with limited mobility have the option to withhold information about their disability to interviewers, employers, and colleagues.
Living with mobility impairments can be challenging. Fortunately, innovations like ergonomic crutches, safety alert devices, and smart technology can make daily life tasks easier.
Article written by Rosalie Janet
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