Assistive Technology for Improving Life in People Living with Muscular Dystrophy
People are already witnessing the rise of human-machine systems, the early forms of cyborgs, without ever realizing it. They are spending most of the time attached to one or another device, a cell phone is most common of them. In fact, cell phones never leave them while they are awake.
For human and machines to combine, they do not have to be physically attached to each other. Even a healthy individual is depending on machines for so many daily tasks. Gone are the times when they use to search encyclopedias or books for information, today the search engine is their first choice for most information. What about communication? Aren’t they using devices and gadgets more often to communicate? Aren’t we seeing the rise of AI, voice recognition, robotics?
Today every individual is busy and engaged in technology in some form or the other. Everyone is being dependent on machines for so many of the daily tasks to be carried out. Technology is here to stay now and it has and it would increasingly become a part of our daily life. It can be very much versatile and lot of help for those individuals who have been living with diseases such as muscular dystrophy or MD. This is chronic medical condition which sets in at an early age in the life of the individual. No type of MD can be treated completely and it leads to progressive loss in the physical functioning of the individual. This progressive loss then slowly starts to affect the mental abilities of the individual as well. There are multiple ways in which technology can prove to be of some help here:
- Mobile Devices: Whether it is a tab, smartphone or any regular phone as well it is today a very essential item for any individual and it also includes those suffering from MD. Mobile devices are becoming smarter and smarter and has an array of functional activities. One cannot ignore the importance it carried for communication. Virtual reality is also getting very real now, the use of voice chatting along with virtual reality assistant can be used for solving most of the tasks. These are indispensable functioning and mostly useful for the disabled ones. The touch-free feature is another function worth talking about. It can be of great value for the high level of disability.
- Activation of voice: This voice activation technology is also proving to be an excellent assistance for individuals suffering from certain kind of disabilities. It is not about voice assertion or recognition to take notes, the technology has gone a step ahead and also using it for certain home functioning wherein one can use the voice feature for opening the garage door, opening the curtains, operating any machine and so on.
- Wheelchairs and the power scooters: Due to the muscles turning weak, it leads to physical disability and the use of certain power packed machines can make the person as fast as anyone else. Many of them are available with varied functionalities as well as control methods. The functionalities can be to adjust seat inclination, changes in the height of the footrest, move along easily by using the joystick.
- Housing requirements: Based on the architecture of the house, the lifts are also known to be important to be considered. One can fit in stair lifts thereby allowing the disable individual to move around or up and down the stairs while they are seated on a chair and without any kind of discomfort. The bathing equipment’s can be specifically designed keeping them in mind wherein that equipment’s can help the MD patient to bath easily and independently. Since bath is not only about good hygiene but it is also a method to rejuvenate oneself.