An app that helps neurodiverse people build routines and a hygienic reusable catheter system are just two of the latest innovations designed to help people with disability.
The 2023 Remarkable Demo Day showcased 12 new disability tech startups…and they’re all truly remarkable! Each business has recently been part of the Remarkable Accelerator, a business program that supports new businesses from across the world working with assistive technology.
Remarkable is an initiative of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and one of the longest-running disability tech programs in the world. So far, it has supported almost 50 companies to take their creative ideas in the disability, ageing and health spaces to more people.
Let’s take a look at some of our favourite tech from this year’s incredible businesses.
Focus Bear focus app.
Focus Bear was built by a team of folks with ADHD and ASD for people who need support to focus on tasks. This app helps to create healthy habits and make decision making easier. And it’s already available for download.
The app has a focus mode that helps to improve concentration by locking distracting apps and websites when it’s time to work or study. It also has a habit guide to help you stick to your daily plan.
The ultimate goal of the app is to help neurodiverse people tap into their creativity and skills so they can thrive at work. The app works across all devices at the same time. It won the Telstra People’s Choice Award at this year’s Remarkable Demo Day.
Virtetic virtual reality prosthetics.
Virtetic is developing game-based virtual reality therapy programs for people with limb loss. Often there is a waiting time of 4-6 months for prosthetics. Virtetic is an Australian innovation that aims to put this time to good use by kickstarting rehabilitation with virtual reality.
The VR screen displays sensory-rich 3D environments where people can interact with objects and use a virtual prosthesis just like a real one. It can be set up to mimic a person’s usual surroundings like the rooms in your home and can be used in a clinic or at home.
A pilot is underway in Australia and the team has submitted a regulatory application in Australia for their first product. A second release is planned for 2024.
Aurie reusable catheter system.
Aurie is a medical device start-up that’s building a new catheter system to increase freedom for intermittent catheter users, reduce waste and decrease the chances of urinary tract infections.
The system consists of a reusable no-touch catheter that can be used 100 times. Its portable and rechargeable carry case automatically cleans, disinfects and lubricates the catheter using around a cup of tap water.
Aurie is not yet available to the public but they’re working on it. Watch this space!
Sofii adaptable switch.
Sofii is designed to unlock the untapped potential of the smart home for people with motor disability. The inclusive design includes switch controls, tactile buttons and audio visual feedback through a loudspeaker and LED lights.
Where existing assistive devices work only in isolation, tying you into a limited ecosystem, Sofii works with all major smart home brands. Sofii also doubles as a Bluetooth switch-control device for your computer, phone or tablet.
It is expected to be available for purchase at around $350 early in 2024 as a one-off purchase. No ongoing subscription will be required.
Audiom inclusive map viewer.
Audiom, produced by XR Navigation, is the world’s most inclusive tactile map viewer and editor. Audiom allows blind users to access digital maps such as weather maps, voting maps, evacuation maps and more.
Most online maps don’t work for screen readers or use a text alternative with turn by turn directions that remove the geographic information that makes a map a map. Audiom can make any digital map accessible in three steps in as short as an hour.
Blind users can then freely access geographic information by moving a character around the map with their arrow key or other controller. It operates similarly to a game and allows users to understand spatial relationships between locations. Audiom is already being used by several colleges in the USA.
Springrose adaptive front-closure bras.
The Springrose adaptive bra has been designed for anyone who wants flexibility in how they get dressed due to age, injury, illness or disability.
This unique front-closure wireless bra is fully adjustable (from the front!). A Velcro hook and loop closure at the front means there’s no need to fumble with hooks and eyes. This adaptive bra can be put on multiple ways including overhead, by stepping into it or with one hand.
Springrose bras are available for pre-order in the US now and they hope to launch in Australia soon.
Know a remarkable startup?
If you’re interested in finding out more about these incredible innovations, check out their websites or social media pages.
Know someone pushing the boundaries to develop new assistive tech? The Remarkable Accelerator program provides startup businesses with $75,000 of seed funding, coaches and mentors to help bring their innovations to more people. The next round of applications opens in March 2024.
A note on products, services, supports and topics in our eNews.
Our stories cover a range of disability and NDIS related products, services, supports and topics.
There may be times when these are directly relevant to your NDIS Plan and can be purchased with your NDIS funds. However, as with every purchase you make with funds from your NDIS Plan, please make sure what you’re purchasing meets NDIS requirements including the ‘reasonable and necessary’ criteria.