Assistive Technology Market Booming: EarlyBirds Helps Organizations Find Solutions
18 July 2023

The WHO outlined the biggest obstacles in improving access to high-quality and affordable assistive technologies in its GATE (Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology) initiative. Firstly, there is a lack of planning and budget allocation in the public sector to serve those who are most affected. A coherent and ambitious national policy is paramount to getting assistive devices into the hands of as many people who need them.

EarlyBirds is helping business and public sector organizations fund innovations in assistive technologies through its open innovation ecosystem. More details about the company and its services can be found at earlybirds.io.

The research and creation of assistive technologies have been hitherto unexplored, underfunded, and underserved domains. However, with over 3.5 billion people expected to be reliant on some kind of disability assistance by the year 2050, the sector is experiencing renewed interest from major investors hoping to offer solutions to the soon-to-be multi-trillion-dollar market.

“Birth rates are falling worldwide and, as the years go by, the global population is expected to have a larger proportion of seniors than ever before in human history,” says Kris Poria, co-founder at EarlyBirds. “Lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension and neurogenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's also pose a grave risk to the freedom and mobility of millions. Technology, then, can be a huge factor in helping those who are the most vulnerable get back control over their life.”

The WHO outlined the biggest obstacles in improving access to high-quality and affordable assistive technologies in its GATE (Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology) initiative. Firstly, there is a lack of planning and budget allocation in the public sector to serve those who are most affected. A coherent and ambitious national policy is paramount to getting assistive devices into the hands of as many people who need them.

Next, the products themselves are designed to serve high-income consumers with those on the lower rungs of the social ladder relying on donations to acquire low-quality and used products. Finally, there is a dearth of trained health professionals who can properly prescribe, fit, and train patients to use the products. Thankfully, several technological innovations on the horizon hold the key to overcoming these challenges.

AI is one of the major recent technological breakthroughs that has already had a sizeable impact on the research and development of assistive technologies. Large language models have proven to be effective in education, helping those with learning disabilities learn at their own pace. The aggregation of data collected over decades at hospitals and medical centers is being leveraged with the help of machine learning to discover new treatments to help patients with noncommunicable diseases.

Hardware innovations are also poised to contribute to the upcoming revolution. High-tech ventures such as Elon Musk’s very own Neuralink are breaching new ground in brain-computer interfaces giving those with severe disabilities a chance to interact with computing devices as naturally and seamlessly as anyone else. AR and VR advancements also hold tremendous potential in helping those with disabilities, especially visual impairments, navigate their surroundings safely.

EarlyBirds helps private and public organizations find, evaluate, and network with innovators working on promising new technologies across a range of industries and scientific domains. The company’s OSINT platform brings together innovators, early adopters, and subject matter experts to solve pressing challenges and upend established markets that are long due for disruption. Businesses primed to capitalize on such innovations are urged to sign up for the EarlyBirds platform as early adopters by visiting https://earlybirds.io/en/early_adopter.

EarlyBirds’ other co-founder Jeff Penrose talks about how its innovation ecosystem maps can help businesses invest in such solutions by saying, “The Assistive Technology market displays similar characteristics to other global technologies that are large, complex, and fragmented, presenting significant challenges to early adopters who need to search, analyze, and find solutions from startup, scaleup, and mature companies. EarlyBirds offers the ideal solution with its award-winning platform and services that capture the global innovators contributing to the Assistive technology market.”

The Explorer Program is designed for businesses who need innovation as a service to supplement existing innovation programs, or to conduct innovation projects as required. Its Challenger Program is designed to solve one business or technical challenge at a time and search for relevant innovators that meet the business, technical, commercial, and business risk requirements.

Startups working on assistive technologies or innovations that can improve existing solutions or help in the creation of brand-new ones are urged to sign up for the EarlyBirds platform as innovators by visiting https://earlybirds.io/en/innovator.