Sad to say, but not everyone in this world is healthy. Currently, relatively 650 million people globally live with a disability, which accounts for around 10% of the world’s population.
No matter the disability type, such individuals can’t lead a normal life. That’s why the governments of many countries are spearheading social programs and campaigns to improve the living conditions of people with special needs.
Technology doesn’t stand on the sidelines, either. Mobile app developers are devising solutions helping the disabled to socialize faster, access more places, and lead a happier life.
This article will give a rundown on innovative mobile apps making inroads into bolstering social care.
iOS, Android, available for free
Once perceived as a fad, emojis are gaining their ground turning into an advanced communication tool. And many developers take advantage of emojis to stand out in the evolving market of mobile apps and engage users by adding a note of visual creativity to their messages.
Wemogee, a new disability app from Samsung — launched this spring — provides ideograms to assist persons who live with aphasia, an impairment of language that takes a toll on the ability to speak aloud, write, and read.
Today, roughly 2 million Americans and 250,000 Brits suffer from aphasia. To communicate, they employ different methods: gesticulating, drawing, or using picture boards. Samsung’s solution is created to offer them a more attractive option.
Available in English and Italian, Wemogee provides users with two different modes: textual and visual. Aphasia patients are given a set of emojis that express over 140 different phrases. The app converts ideograms into textual messages for non-aphasic users and after that translates their answers into emojis.
Thus, Wemogee is spreading a brand-new communication code — for those who can’t converse.
Seeing AI App
iOS, available for free
WHO estimates that 285 million people worldwide are visually-challenged with 39 million totally blind.
Upset by such sobering stats, Microsoft mounted an all-out effort to develop a mobile app that could become an eye-opener in total darkness.
Its Seeing AI employs artificial intelligence to narrate the world to visually-impaired people. It utilizes the phone camera to detail persons, objects, and textual messages.
Seeing AI is sophisticated enough to scan barcodes and recognize images from other apps (mail, twitter, etc.). In addition, it reads documents and specifies individuals’ gender, age, emotions, and actions.
Find more information in Microsoft’s official video.
The numbers from the 2017 WHO’s fact sheet on deafness are shocking: 360 million people around the globe are hearing-impaired. To communicate, they use lip reading, signs, or earphones. However, it’s impossible to do the same when talking on the cell phone.
RogerVoice app is designed to make calls accessible and simple for the deaf community.
Empowered by voice recognition technology, the solution helps hearing-challenged persons read a written transcript of the interlocutor’s spoken words. Automated voice synthesis, in turn, allows writing a response and translates it into a voice reply.
The allure of RogerVoice is that it supports multiple languages and can save time on typing by offering custom instant messages.
If you want to know how that idea was put into action, watch this YouTube video.
iOS, Android, available for free
Currently, about 337,000 Americans suffer from a spinal cord injury, which forces them to use wheelchairs. Wheelmap app is devised to assist such mobility-impaired individuals.
Users can find wheelchair-accessible places on a virtual map of their area: restaurants and cafes, clubs, or subway stations.
Wheelmap is built on OpenStreetMap, and everyone can enhance the data stored in this online world map by flagging locations, contributing comments, and uploading pictures.
All data is fresh and serves to increase public awareness about the rights and needs of physically-challenged people.
Look At Me App
Android, available for free
A new fact sheet by WHO unveils that 1 in 160 kids worldwide has an ASD (autism spectrum disorder). Many of them have poor social skills and struggle to maintain eye contact.
Samsung created the Look At Me app to make the lives of autism sufferers brighter. It leverages pictures, facial recognition technology, and a scope of games to help children understand various emotions and communicate with others.
The app’s team carried out an eight-week trial with 20 kids and claimed that 60% of them had managed to enhance their eye contact.
Learn more about Look At Me and its success stories on Samsung’s website.
Summing it up
Technology has certainly proved to be a boon in responding to social challenges. In this article, we have outlined just a few examples of mobile apps that embrace the power of artificial intelligence to assist disabled people.
Healthcare software development experts are engaged in building some other solutions — patient portals, IoT devices, robo-assistants, etc. — that can also bring physically-impaired individuals a glimmer of hope for a better future.
About the Author:
Yana Yelina is a Technology Writer at Oxagile, a New York-based software company that develops custom medical solutions to help hospitals, health systems, and assisted living facilities to improve patient outcomes, stabilize costs, and secure PHI. Oxagile provides caregivers with task-driven solutions aimed at improving diagnostics and treatment, medical workflows, engaging patients, and effectively addressing daily challenges. You can reach Yana at: firstname.lastname@example.org or connect via LinkedIn or Twitter.