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Assistive technology can help people overcome an extensive range of difficulties.

How assistive technology can assist people in health care.

Assistive technology is a broad term for good reason. The range of technologies that are classified under this term aim to help people overcome an extensive range of difficulties. For some people those difficulties are the result of a disability. For others they are the result of a more recent event such as an injury, or the period of recovery following an operation. Whatever the obstacles that an individual may face, there are a variety of assistive software solutions available that can help them to live independent lives. Below are examples of how what type of software might help issues that our customers commonly ask us about. 

This is an image of a switch.

Limited Mobility

There are a variety of ways to enable a person with limited mobility to use a computer. Switches are often a popular solution. A switch is a button that can be programmed to carry out a task, or can be combined with software to navigate a cursor around a screen. Switches can be placed wherever is most convenient for the person, and are easily fastened to wheelchairs or headrests. When combined with software such as ‘The Grid’ you can use switch to entirely replace your keyboard and mouse, letting you navigate, create documents and carry out all the processes an able bodied person can using their computer.

This is an image of the Smartview Versa Electronic Magnifier

Poor Eyesight

Struggling to read text clearly is a difficulty that we come across very often at iansyst. Luckily there are a range of solutions that may suit someone with poor eyesight. One popular solution is a portable electronic magnifier; this is a piece of hardware that magnifies text to a larger size so that it can be clearly read. Alternatively, some people find it easier to have the text read aloud to them, and often this is more convenient when reading longer documents at home on your computer. In this circumstance we would often recommend some text-to-speech software such as ClaroRead. This software would allow text in a document to be read aloud to you, and can even be saved as an audio file to listen to whilst out and about.

This is an image of the Evoluent mouse

Discomfort whilst working

Conditions such as arthritis, repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome can make actions like typing or moving a mouse painful. However there are assistive technology solutions that aim to ease the discomfort caused by such conditions. Many people prefer to use ergonomic mouse devices instead of traditional computer mouse devices as they are held in a more natural way, limiting the strain on a person's wrist. Of course the act of typing can become extremely difficult if a person finds the movement of their fingers or wrist painful, but there are also ways of overcoming this. The most popular solution would be to use a piece of speech recognition software such as Dragon. This software allows you to speak what you would like to be typed and the software recognises the words that are being spoken, converting them into text on the screen. It takes a little time to allow the software to adjust to your voice, but it learns your individual vocal range quickly, meaning that once it has adjusted you no longer need to type.

This is an image of the CapturaTalk app icon.

Communication Difficulties

Being able to communicate with people around is an integral part of human life, when something hinders this it can cause frustration and distress. There are a group of assistive technology solutions that can be used as a communication aid. For individuals that have limited use of their hands alongside difficulty speaking, the grid software is often a popular solution. It show a range of phrases laid out in a grid format on the screen, the user then only needs to select the appropriate response from the grid instead of speaking it. You can also create your own list of phrases to suit your own needs. Alternatively some people prefer to install an application on their phone that has text to speech capability like CapturaTalk. This means that a person can pull out their phone, type what they would like to say and have it read aloud to those around them. This also gives the added convenience of not needing to carry around any extra equipment, you only need your mobile phone.

Of course the above examples only represent a tiny sample of the issues that people may face. Here at iansyst we have over 30 years of experience working with disabled people, this experience means that we are familiar with what assistive technology solutions are often found to be most effective at helping to overcome health care related issues. If you would like more information about how assistive technology can help you or one of your loved ones, then you should contact us directly. Our knowledgeable staff are always on hand to help and we can guide you through all the possible solutions and their uses for you based on your individual needs.

iansyst are also a registered supplier on the NHS Electronic Assistive Technology Products and Services framework. Through this framework we supply assistive technology to health care professionals, enabling people with disabilities to achieve greater independence.