Assistive technology for health care allows people with disabilities to function as independently as possible with regard to their health in ways that otherwise might prove difficult for them. Devices exist to help people with a variety of special needs.
Devices for the Visually Impaired
Assistive technology for health care for the visually impaired includes devices that talk, like blood glucose monitors and blood pressure monitors that tell patients the reading out loud instead of, or in addition to, a printed display. Devices may also be labeled in Braille. If devices don’t come with Braille labels from the manufacturer, an occupational therapist, friend or family member can help a visually impaired patient apply Braille labels.
Devices for the Hearing Impaired
Hearing impaired people can often utilize standard heath care equipment. However, if equipment has alarms that sound, these can often be altered so that a light flashes instead.
Devices for the Physically Disabled
Assistive technology for the physically disabled includes things like scales the patient sits on instead of standing, shower chairs that allow the patient to shower while seated, special “spill proof” spoons for medication dosing and medication bottles with “easy open” caps.
Devices for the Mentally Impaired
Assistive technology for health care includes devices for the mentally impaired, such as patients with dementia. Devices include things like medication reminder sets with separate boxes for each dose and alarms that remind patients when to take medication.
Selecting and Paying for Assistive Technology
Medical supply stores carry a number of assistive devices. An occupational therapist can help determine what devices might work best for a particular patient’s needs. Most larger cities also have organizations like an Association for the Blind or Speech and Hearing Center that help teach people with special needs daily living skills. These agencies can help people find assistive devices and teach them how to use them.
You should talk to your doctor if you are having trouble taking care of your health needs due to a disability. It would be nice if doctors always noticed these sorts of problems but sometimes they don’t. If you find it difficult to comply with health care recommendations due to a disability, let your doctor know.
Health insurance may cover the cost of some devices if they are medically necessary. A social worker at a hospital, clinic or other facility where a patient receives treatment can help a patient find sources of funding for necessarily assistive devices if cost is a concern.
Iowa Compass. http://www.iowacompass.org/assistivetechnology.htm. What Is Assistive Technology?
Independent Living Aids. http://www.independentliving.com/departments.asp?dept=155&deptname=Health-Care. Talking Glucose Monitors, Talking Pedometers.
EPill. http://www.epill.com/. Medication Reminders.