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GRID: a model for the development of assistive devices in developing countries.

Authors
  • Sujatha, S1
  • Bapat, Ganesh M2
  • Dash, Swostik Sourav3
  • 1 TTK Center for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2), Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India. , (India)
  • 2 Department of Biomechanics, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE, USA.
  • 3 NeoMotion Assistive Solutions Private Limited, Chennai, India. , (India)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Disability and rehabilitation. Assistive technology
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2021
Volume
16
Issue
3
Pages
317–323
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2019.1673838
PMID: 31645158
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

An" Appropriate Assistive Device" is accessible, affordable and standardised in terms of quality and safety, and most importantly, has the functionality to satisfy the user needs. The cost of research and development (R&D) of such assistive products for a market that has limited purchasing power is a significant hurdle and traditional models of R&D may not work effectively in this case. This paper presents an experience-based viable model for the R&D of assistive devices for users in developing countries. The model presented here has been evolved from the functioning of the TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) in IIT Madras, Chennai, India. The model is based on the four pillars of Grants-Research-Industry-Dissemination, hence the name GRID model. We have been effectively using this model involving academia, funding agencies, industry partners and users to develop appropriate assistive devices. Three case studies of assistive device development based on the GRID model are presented in this paper to elucidate practical implementation of the model. Using the GRID model, we have successfully accomplished the development of appropriate assistive devices and two of these devices will be launched in the coming months. The proposed GRID model is a viable model for the development of appropriate assistive devices in developing countries, and could likely be replicated in other parts of the world as well.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONThe GRID model is practically viable and provides a systematic approach for the development of high-quality, functional and affordable assistive devices.Implementation of the GRID model to develop assistive devices could attract more funding and committed stakeholders to this space, with the potential to change the assistive device landscape in developing countries by making available more functional and affordable devices.In effect, the model will benefit users of assistive devices by giving them a greater choice of available devices and empowering them to lead a quality life.

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