2.5 billion reasons to act

A Global Reset on the 1st World Day for Assistive Technology

On June 4th, the world celebrated the very first World Day for Assistive Technology (AT). It's a day to recognize the incredible impact AT has on millions of lives – a chance to bridge the gap between ability and possibility.

But what exactly is AT and where do we stand now?

Assistive technology (AT) encompasses assistive products and the accompanying systems and services designed to aid individuals facing permanent or temporary functional challenges AT is vital for enabling and empowering persons with disabilities, the aging population, and those with chronic conditions. It plays a crucial role in fostering inclusion and engagement in all aspects of society.

Assistive products come in various forms, including physical items like wheelchairs, glasses, hearing aids, prosthetic limbs, walking aids, and incontinence pads, as well as digital tools like software and applications that facilitate interpersonal communication, access to information, daily time management, rehabilitation, education, and training. These technologies are essential across all life stages, aiding children with disabilities in education and activities and supporting adults, particularly as they age.

AT is an umbrella term encompassing a diverse range of tools and devices designed to empower people with disabilities. From wheelchairs and screen readers to prosthetics and communication aids, AT levels the playing field, fostering independence and participation in everyday life.

A stark disparity

Millions left behind

While assistive technology empowers people with disabilities, the aging population, and those with chronic conditions, a staggering number remain excluded.

2.5 billion people globally need one or more assistive products. Yet, in low-income countries, only 10% have access to the AT they need. In some cases, this figure plummets to a mere 3%. This stands in stark contrast to high-income countries, where an average of 90% have access.

Why the Disparity?

Market Failures Hold the Key

  • ATscale, the Global Partnership for Assistive Technology, points to market failures as a significant contributing factor to this disparity. Traditionally, the market has been dominated by high-end companies focused on Europe and North America, with price tags that limit access in low-mid income countries. The market failures can take various forms, including:

Monopoly Market Power

Trade Barriers

Technological Barriers

Asymmetric Information

When a single company dominates a specific assistive technology market, it can lead to inflated prices and limited product options.

Import tariffs and other trade barriers can make it difficult and expensive to import essential AT products into low-income countries.

Complex or outdated technologies can be difficult to maintain or repair in resource-limited settings.

A lack of awareness about available AT options and their benefits can prevent individuals and healthcare providers from seeking them out.

  • Another critical challenge is the ambiguous definition of "quality" in the AT market. The current lack of widespread structural testing, field trials, and clinical testing can lead to substandard and less durable products entering the market. This is a major concern, especially for LMICs where resources might already be limited.

"We have long known about these market failures," says ATscale. "But a recent report commissioned by ATscale and conducted by the Clinton Health Access Initiative delves deeper, providing actionable insights on the most dynamic AT markets."

Disabled Man on a Wheelchair
Disabled Man on a Wheelchair
Disabled Man on a Wheelchair
Disabled Man on a Wheelchair
Disabled Man on a Wheelchair

In low-mid-income countries (LMIC), market inefficiencies, such as limited awareness about AT products and suppliers, high costs, workforce capacity gaps, and a weak supportive environment, hinder AT access.

Among these barriers, the lack of essential market information on pricing, manufacturers, and product offerings is a key challenge across LMICs. Due to limited visibility and information, buyers face challenges in accessing affordable, quality products that meet their needs.

Bridging the Gap:

Working Towards a World of Opportunity

While the rise of AT is inspiring, access remains a challenge for many. World Day for Assistive Technology serves as a reminder of the work that remains. Together, we can build a more equitable future by:

Advocating for Affordability

Making AT solutions more affordable is crucial. Imagine David struggling to afford a prosthetic hand. Initiatives and partnerships can bridge this affordability gap.

Breaking Down Barriers

Trade barriers and logistical hurdles can make it difficult to get AT products where they're needed most. By working together, we can create smoother channels to deliver these essential tools.



Sometimes, the biggest barrier is simply not knowing what's available. By raising awareness about AT, we can empower individuals and healthcare providers to seek out the solutions that can improve their lives.

Disabled Icon. Worker Injury And Disability
Disabled Icon. Worker Injury And Disability
Disabled Icon. Worker Injury And Disability
Disabled Icon. Worker Injury And Disability
Disabled Icon. Worker Injury And Disability

Fortunately, a shift is underway, with emerging companies in China, India, and Turkey entering the market, offering more affordable options.

Striking a Balance:

Innovation for All

The future of AT hinges on striking a delicate balance between:


We need continued investment in research and development to create cutting-edge solutions that improve user experience and functionality.


Cost-effective solutions are essential to ensure AT reaches those who need it most in low-mid income countries (LMIC).


Developing durable, long-lasting AT solutions is essential, especially in resource-limited settings.


Breaking down barriers to access, both physical and financial, is crucial to empower individuals to utilize AT.

The Exobot Commitment:

Empowering Potential Through Assistive Technology

Together, we can rewrite the narrative of assistive technology.

Imagine a future where innovation isn't just about bells and whistles, but about creating tools that seamlessly integrate into daily life, regardless of income or location. A future where affordability and accessibility are cornerstones of design, and quality is never compromised.

The story of assistive technology is a continuous evolution, and at Exobot, we're at the forefront of this exciting chapter. We're dedicated to developing next-generation bionic prosthetics that push the boundaries of possibility. This is the future we're striving for – a future where individuals with limb loss can regain their independence, confidence, and ability to live life to the fullest. Our commitment extends beyond prosthetics. We envision a future where Exobot offers a wider range of assistive devices, empowering people with disabilities to live more fulfilling lives.

On this World Day for Assistive Technology,

let's harness the collective power of technology, collaboration, and human potential to ensure that assistive technology lives up to its promise: a world where 2.5 billion possibilities become 2.5 billion empowered realities.

This isn't science fiction; this is the future we can build, together.

*This blog leverages data from ATscale, a global initiative championing access to assistive technology. ATscale unites governments, NGOs, and the private sector to empower people with disabilities through AT. Their work paves the way for a more inclusive future.

At Exobot, we're fueled by the same vision – a future where assistive technology unlocks a world of possibility. We see bionic devices not just as machines but as bridges – bridges to a world where limitations are defied. We're committed to developing innovative solutions that are accessible, affordable, and designed with the user in mind.

Join us on this journey of inclusion, where human potential meets technological brilliance. Together, let's create a future where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential.

Exobot Dynamics pvt ltd

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