Thursday, July 16, 2015

SpeechEasyPD to Provide Helpful Devices for Parkinson’s Patients with Speech Issues

Janus Development Group, the maker of SpeechEasyPD, introduced the product in 2014. SpeechEasyPD is an in-the-ear device whic
h looks like a hearing aid and helps promote fluency in those Parkinson's patients with speech difficulties.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurological and progressive disease which affects both men and women, but more typically men. Among the many symptoms of Parkinson's disease, patients can experience decreased speech volume, repetitive speech and an overall decrease in speech intelligibility. Any and all of these factors can create communication issues for the patient

Studies have shown that the use of an auditory delay and/or a change in pitch can help increase the speech intelligibility of speech in those with Parkinson's disease. SpeechEasyPD uses both of these components in a small, discreet device worn in one ear of the client. The auditory delay and/or change in pitch recreates what is known as the 'choral effect', in which a person's repetitive speech is dramatically reduced or even eliminated when they speak or sing in unison with others. The choral effect has been well-documented for decades as a treatment for stuttering, and more recently used as a treatment for those with speech issues related to Parkinson's disease. Clinical use of SpeechEasyPD has also shown that the utilization of the delay may naturally slow the patient's speech rate. Often times with Parkinson's disease, people will exhibit a very fast rate of speech which, in turn, negatively impacts their intelligibility.

According to a small study conducted at Rush University in Chicago in which Parkinson's patients were fit with a SpeechEasyPD device, participants experienced an increase in their speech intelligibility and a decrease in their repetitive speech, or palilalia, they exhibited. A second study with a larger number of participants is now underway.

SpeechEasyPD was developed by a team of communication disorder researchers at East Carolina University, and is marketed exclusively by Janus Development Group. SpeechEasyPD devices are available via a nationwide network of state licensed, ASHA (American Speech-Language Hearing Association)-certified speech language pathologists. More information about SpeechEasyPD is available at Janus Development Group is a privately-held S-Corp, and has been developing, marketing and selling in-ear auditory feedback devices since 2001.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Technology Innovations That Could Help the Elderly - WSJ

​Look at this brainy women 91 coming up with innovative aids for the elderly.
Highly impressed. URL at the bottom.​

The world's population is aging at a rate never seen before, and the World Health Organization says that by 2050 two billion people will be over the age of 60.

Longer lifespans can be attributed in part to the development of new technologies. But ironically, the people who come up with new technologies rarely focus on innovations that could make day-to-day life easier for the elderly.

Barbara Beskind is an exception. The 91-year-old Ms. Beskind has been designing products since the Great Depression and owns several patents on inflatable equipment for helping children improve their balance. Now a part-time designer at the legendary Silicon Valley design firm IDEO, Ms. Beskind is still coming up with ideas and in her spare time makes equipment and gadgets for her friends.

"As a designer, there's always this dilemma," Ms. Beskind says. "Do I keep this idea to myself until I can find a manufacturer? Or do I reveal these things, and give away the store? Well, I'm 91 now. I don't have the time or money to wait around to get patents."

Ms. Beskind talked to The Wall Street Journal about technological innovations she thinks could help the elderly. Here are edited excerpts:

A better walker
WSJ: Do you have any ideas for products for older people that don't exist today?

MS. BESKIND: How about a device that can keep people from fracturing a hip? I would be interested in air bags that could be worn. I worked on a prototype, with five different sizes of hair curlers that come out from a waistband. But I couldn't get a power source that could inflate them fast enough.

I'd also like to see a new addition to the telephone. Today, you have volume control on the receiver. What we should have is speed control. I get a message on the machine, and they leave a 13-digit phone number to call back. I am listening, and I have to grab a pen, and sometimes people talk so fast. Slowing down messages would be good.

Instead of a walker, Ms. Beskind uses ski poles she modified to encourage upright posture and a dynamic gait. 

Also, a lot of people who care for the elderly come from other countries and speak only rudimentary English. For people who are sick and bedridden, it can be very frustrating. We should have translation technology, a device where you speak into it in one language and it comes out in another.

WSJ: Are there products for older people out today that you think could be better?

MS. BESKIND: I'm concerned about older people maintaining good balance. We need dynamic walkers. The regular walkers encourage poor posture and balance issues. People lean on walkers. There's a need for that, but there's also a need to stand upright and have a dynamic gait.

I use walking sticks that I designed myself. The bottoms of the sticks have rockers, like rocking chairs, instead of a cane-tip. They give me a push-off. It's almost like floating. You see, a walker just signals that you're old or disabled or dysfunctional. My walking sticks are modified ski poles. When people see me, they ask if I'm headed to the slopes.

Higher-tech glasses
WSJ: Do you think you could design better hearing aids for older people?

MS BESKIND: As a close observer of elders who need hearing assistance, I think there needs to be something that could be regulated externally. I envision a simple surgical implant behind each ear—perhaps a conductor or electrode—that would receive signals from an external control device that might be worn in a pants pocket or on a retractable cord pinned to [clothing] fabric.

Control for background noise and close conversation tones, pitch, etc., could be refined by those experienced in the field. There would be no discomfort when sleeping on one side, and because the hearing aid wouldn't be removed at night, there would be no risk of the person missing an emergency call or fire.

WSJ: Any ideas for better eyeglasses?

MS BESKIND: I'd like to see a camera mounted on the bridge of glasses. I'm legally blind, myself. A camera could give enhanced visual accuracy that lenses don't give. A camera could help with peripheral vision. Also, how about a photo-identity [feature] for people who are approaching? And voice-recognition technology? Politicians might want this too!

WSJ: What is your opinion of the mobility scooters that many older people use these days?

MS BESKIND: If you need it, use it. But there's been a big ad campaign for a lot of people who don't really need them. The scooters are used too often. Try to keep your balance and your circulation. Don't prematurely [opt for a scooter]. These scooters don't keep up your physical health.

WSJ: The trend nowadays is to put sensors inside of medical devices and orthopedic equipment, sensors that collect information and send it to doctors and family members. Is this an idea that older people are comfortable with?

MS BESKIND: It just depends on the person. Generally speaking, baby boomers will be faster to accept technology as an answer than will people in my age group. But anything that really helps—say, technology that can send information to doctors—is likely to be readily accepted by everyone.

Mr. Hay is a reporter for Dow Jones VentureWire and The Wall Street Journal in San Francisco. Email him at

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Distribution of Aids and Assistive Devices for Persons with Disabilites | Business Standard News

​Assistive devices are need not only by disabled who are so recognised under ​Disability Act, but also senior citizens who are poor. When will the ministry wake up, we pray!

Distribution of Aids
and Assistive Devices for Persons with Disabilites

Central government has recognized Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) as an integral part of the human resource and is committed towards empowerment of PwDs in the country. A Samajik Adhikarita Shivir (Camp) for free distribution of aids and assistive devices for PwDs under the ADIP Scheme of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) was held at Gangtok, Sikkim today, where the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Pawan Kumar Chamling; Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot; Smt. Tulsi Devi, Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment & Welfare, Govt. of Sikkim and Shri Lov Verma, Secretary, DEPwD were present.

For the first time 419 beneficiaries were identified in the State of Sikkim and Total Learning Material (TLM) Kits, Lap tops, hearing aids, crutches, wheelchairs, Braille Kits and other items, valued at Rs.32.00 lakh, were distributed to these identified beneficiaries.

The Chief Minister of Sikkim welcomed the Union Minister Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot and announced that the Government of Sikkim shall undertake all possible steps for the development of PwDs. He informed that Special School for Hearing Impaired at Gangtok and Residential School for Visually Impaired at Buntar, South Sikkim and Rehabilitation Centre have been established at STNM Hospital at Gangtok. The State Government has already identified more than 9000 PwDs and Disability Pension @Rs.600 is being paid by the State Government. He reiterated the commitment of the State Government for supporting the RPwD Bill, 2014 and requested that a Composite Rehabilitation Centre may be established with the support of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities at Gangtok. He further stated that the Hon'ble Union Minister's presence at Gangtok re-affirms the love and affection of Hon'ble Prime Minister towards the people of Sikkim and his commitment for development of State of Sikkim. He also congratulated Ms. Ira Singhal, the first woman with disability, who has secured 1st Rank in the Civil Services Examination 2014, conducted by the UPSC.

The Minister Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot assured the Chief Minister of Sikkim that all necessary support shall be provided by the Central Government for implementation of the Scheme of distribution of Aids and Assistive Devices (ADIP), Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS), Scheme for District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRCs), Scheme of Cochlear Implant, Scheme for Vocational Training for PwDs and Braille Presses. For setting up of Industrial Development Centre under the SIPDA scheme of the Government, further support shall be provided. He assured support for a new Composite Rehabilitation Centre, a project which shall cost about Rs.60 crore.

Secretary, DEPwD, Shri Lov Verma stressed the need for vocational training of PwDs and requested the State Government to ensure that 3% reservation in government jobs may be completed in the State and State of Sikkim may strive to be the first State to achieve the norm of 3% reservation. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Thermometers and Wrist devices

Anoop Verma's review of "Gadgets for good health" in "Dignity
Dialogue" June 2011 issue is worth reading.

Variant types of thermometers (keep it in your ear type, keep near the
body (non-contact) type), wrist watches that measure your BP, Pulse
rate, heart beats? are mentioned. When a Rs 50 mercury thermometer
will give the temperature, will you spend rs 2550 just for the
convenience of non-contact feature? Two similar products - Wrist based
BP monitors - from same company Omron - are mentioned without bringing
out the difference between the two.  One way in which I benefited from
the Article is that I came to know that  Amazon is a good source for
such products too. I thought they were only for books chiefly.

Maa Sai Surgicals ASRao Nagar HYderabad

dear all,
useful info for those living near road and nearby areas;-
maa sai surgicals, plot no. 142, maruthi nagar, dr a s rao nagar
opp. venkateswara swamy temple, hyd-62., phone9848325123/9949277676.
sells various surgical aids, viz.
collars,belts, diabatic foot waer, walking aids, socks,stockings, special commodes, adapters,
tablet cutters,organizers,gloves, and many more items.
they offer, discounts and free home delivery. they have another branch at neredmet, opposite, police station also.
self bought a pair of diabatic footwear last year there and finding it good.
[ let me wish that there may be no need  for these, to all 111]


Posted by: raghavan ramasamy <>

Fwd: Assistive Devices Vikrampuri Balaji Surgeicals

A new shop Balaji Surgicals has come up near Bata Show Room on Rainbow Hospital road in Secunderabad. It has almost all assistive devices like:

walking sticks, walkers, commode attachments,back rest, water beds, adult diapers, chappals of different sorts (- ortho, diabetes), wheel chairs, nebulizers, bed pans, walking crutches,   etc.

Contact Jagan 9849231721


Assistive devices - Vividha Associates Hyderabad

Vividha Associates supply several assistive devices and health care products. Here is a partial list. I visited their stall in Elders Mela.
  • Glucometers
  • Nebulizers
  • Knee caps
  • Cervical collars
  • Abdominal belts
  • BP Monitors
  • Ortho supports
  • Anklets
  • Digital thermometer
  • Vaporisers
  • Air Cushion (for piles patients)
  • Wheel Chairs
  • Walking sticks
  • Under Pads
  • Hot Water bags
  • Commodes
  • Semi Fowler Cots
  • Infra Red Thermometer
  • Baby wipes
  • Hearing Pads
  • Adult Diapers
  • Water beds
  • Walkers
Vividha Associates
3-5-318/2/4 vithalwadi dr melkote park lane narayanguda hyderabad 500029
phones: 64592624 / 9666770177


Assistive devices from Elixir Communities

Elixir Communities, who are in the planning stages of establishing gated communities for retirees, have entered into partnership with UK based manufacturers to bring us certain Assistive devices for elders.
These are:
  • Height Adjustable Walking Canes
  • Medicine dispensing box
  • Pill cutter
  • Back scratcher
  • Foldable Walking Stick
  • Abdominal support
  • Medicine Alarm (reminds you )
  • Medicines weekly dispenser
  • Adult diapers - imported
  • Senior Mobile Phone 
The last mentioned item (RECONNECT) has large key board; can be used as a flash light; Has provision for four emergency numbers ; Has FM radio for entertainment; Costs around Rs 2100 only.

Contact: 040-66512020 / 


Assistive devices -

  1. A New website for assisted devices for the elderly is now available:
Following devices are available at discounts ranging from 10 to 40%
Please visit and decide
  1. Wheel Chairs (2)
  2. Commode Stool (5)
  3. Walking Aid (7)
  4. Adult Diapers (5)
  5. Supports (29)
  6. Bed Sore Matresses (1)
  7. Hot/Cold Treatment (7)
  8. ===========

Dr P Vyasamoorthy, 30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph 040-27846631 / 9490804278.

Fwd: National Fair on Aid & Assistive Devices - To Begin from Tomorrow

This was in 2013. Was there a similar expo in 2014 / 2015?
Anyone in the know of things may comment

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
24-July-2013 18:38 IST
National Fair on Aid & Assistive Devices - To Begin from Tomorrow

The Secretary, Department of Disability Affairs, Ministry of Social
Justice & Empowerment, Ms. Stuti Kacker in a curtain raiser press
conference on National Fair on Aid & Assistive Devices 'SWAVLAMBAN'
spoke at length about the policy formulation and implementation of
various schemes of the Government for rehabilitation of Persons with

The Secretary further added that the National Policy for Persons with
Disabilities, 2006 recognises persons with disabilities as valuable
human resource and focuses on their physical, economic and educational
rehabilitation. There are several schemes and programmes for their
empowerment at both Central and State level. These schemes are
implemented through the Central Government and State Governments,
Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India, National
Handicapped Finance Development Corporation and National Institutes
located in various parts of the country and other associated
organizations like National Trust, Rehabilitation Council of India and
Non Governmental Organizations.

The Secretary also said that a need has been felt for wider
dissemination of information and to bring various agencies on a common
platform, to facilitate multi-lateral exchange of views, knowledge,
expertise and experience, and to come out with the best available
solution to address the various needs of Persons with Disabilities in
line with technological advancement and global practices.

A four day National Fair on Aid & Assistive Devices 'SWAVLAMBAN', the
first of its kind by the Department of Disability Affairs is being
organized at Pragati Maidan. Artificial Limbs Manufacturing
Corporation of India, a Public Sector Enterprise fully owned by
Government of India and one of the largest manufacturer of wide range
of Aid & Assistive Devices for Persons with Disabilities in entire
South Asia, will host the event on behalf of the Ministry.

Aid & Assistive devices include assistive, adaptive, and
rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities. They provide
greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they
formerly had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancement
to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to
accomplish these tasks and to live a life of dignity.

ALIMCO has been manufacturing variety of aids and appliances for
different categories of disability under one roof. These includes
Mobility and Writing Aids; aids for visually, hearing & mentally
impaired; Cervical & Spinal Braces; Lower and Upper Prosthetics;
Calipers and their accessories etc.

A total of approx. 50 participants from across the country are
expected to take part in the National Fair to present and demonstrate
equipments for use by Persons with Disabilities. The event has been
scheduled for a period of four days mainly to facilitate wide
interactions and free exchange of ideas among the participants.

Dr P Vyasamoorthy
30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph 040-27846631 / 9490804278

Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Review: Assistive Devices for Daily Living

Book Review
Reviewer: Dr P Vyasamoorthy
Date of Review: 23rd Nov 2006
Assistive Devices for Daily Living. By Dr SD Gokhale and Dr Abhijit Joshi
Sequel Infoemedia Private Limited, Pune. October 2006.Pune. pp 220 including 44 pages of colour photos. (Also available as CD) Price Rs 250/- (Available from  International Longevity Center, Pune)

This book is unique and the only one on the subject in India. Elderly people as well other disabled persons require a number of Assistive devices to lead a normal life and to be accepted by the society. For example, persons with hearing loss go for hearing aids, people with low vision go for spectacles or use magnifying glass and adults suffering from incontinence opt for adult diapers. This book on Assistive Devices for daily Living looks into all aspects of such requirements of senior citizens and other disabled persons.

As the book is the result (report) of a project undertaken by the International Longevity center, Pune, chapters like preamble, Aims & Objectives of the project, Terms of   reference, definitions from National Policies on Disability & ageing, Methodology are all given in initial chapters. Chapter 6, erroneously titled "Definitions and National Policy on Disability and Ageing" which should in all probability called "Classification scheme for ADDL" contains the intellectual input from ILC. The classification scheme developed is exhaustive and serves the purpose of the directory extremely well. Chapter 7 on market potential for Assistive devices is brief and sketchy but nevertheless useful as it provides pointers about the future scenario.

Bulk of the book  (65%) is devoted to systematic listing of about 465 Assistive devices. For each device the name, brief description, manufacturer, his product identification code, specification, price & currency are given. Where illustration is available, a reference to the photo section is given.  All photos (in colour) are given in one sequence after descriptive tables, to minimize cost of production. Following table gives the spread / distribution of info among various categories:
Number of devices
Orthopedic Support
Bed and Chairs
Pressure relief
Comfort and dressing
Kitchen & dining
Home health
Moving and handling
Low Vision devices
Hearing Aids
Security Ads
There are a number of useful appendixes. These include a list of books (32), a list of experts (11), a list of resource organizations (43) and a list of manufacturers – foreign 14 and Indian 17. If complete details, including the publisher & price have been mentioned in the case of books, the list would have become more useful.

The directory part in itself is highly useful. Comments added by the compiler [examples: Toilet Frames suitable for Indian conditions); Commode chairs (design can be easily adapted); Standup Kit (highly recommended for institutional use) etc] add value to the user. Most important benefit of the book is that we come to know about the existence and availability of hundreds of Assistive devices for seniors.  

The font chosen is very small and the printing itself is very light in many pages, which is difficult for senior citizens to read. I am confident that the publishers will take care of it in the next edition.          

The book is also available in CDROM format. It is a collection of Adobe acrobat pdf files representing the printed book.  Adobe reader, available as free download, is all that is needed to use the CD.

This book is indeed a mine of information, aimed at making the life livable and worthy of living for disabled seniors.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A small directory of suppliers of Assistive Devices in Hyderabad

If you want to download a copy go here:

Magnifying sheet

Supplier of Magnifying sheet
Support for persons with poor vision
Slide magnet over print media

Comprehensive List of Assistive Devices

List of Assistive devices from the index of the website

This list may be useful to look for information on the products, specifications, illustrations, suppliers or vendors. A start up file of sorts.

Bariatric / Heavy Duty
All Items
bath benches
toilet tissue wipe aids
raised toilet seats
toilet safety frame
toilet tissue wipe aids
Tub & Shower
tub safety treads
folding shower seat
mobile shower chair
transfer benches
tub safety rails
hand held shower

All Items
bed risers
bed rails
bed rail organizer
bed wedge
leg elevator
blanket support
bed tray
bed transfer board
tilt up bedside table

Daily Living
Better TV
tv volume regulator
tv ears
pocket talker pro

large-handle utensils
scooper plate & guards
cups and mugs
spill protectors
Hearing Solutions
amplified telephones

Incontinence Supplies
bed underpads
chair pads
zippered mattress covers
feminine incontinence
male incontinence

Kitchen Openers
for cans / bottles / jars
Large Handle Utensils
offset handle knives
food preparation utensils
measuring cups / spoons

Lever Door Knobs
all styles
Vision Solutions
reading magnifiers
big-button telephones
big-button remotes
large number clocks
talking watch
big number playing cards
Writing Utensils
wanchick's writer
ring pen
pencil grippers
Other Daily Living Aids
lap book holders
senior reachers / grabbers
folding shopping carts
big lamp switches
self opening scissors
playing card holders
ez spray handle

Dressing & Personal Care
Clothing for Seniors
adaptive apparel
compression socks
support hose
non-slip slipper sock
Dressing Aids
elastic shoe laces
long shoe horns
dressing stick
ring zipper pull
Personal Care
dental flossing fork
long handle body washer
long handle hair washer
long lotion applicator
long handle brush & comb
electric nail care kit
mirror, telescoping
long handle tweezers
hair washing tray / basin

Health Care
Blood Pressure Monitors
wrist monitors
arm monitors
Diabetic Supplies
glucose monitor
care socks
insulin syringes
syringe needle clipper
sharps collectors
Exercise Therapy
pedal exerciser
mini stepper
gait belts
other exercisers
Oxygen Concentrators
portable concentrators
home concentrators
oxygen therapy supplies
respironics filters
portable pulse oximeters
Pain Relief & Comfort
hot and cold packs
heel spur cushions
knee / heel / elbow guards
Pill Accessories
pill splitter
medication tote bag
pill organizers
pill bottle cap opener
pulverizer / crusher

Canes & Crutches
iWALKFree crutch
canes, adjustable
canes, folding
canes, lighted
quad canes
forearm crutches
Walkers - Rollators
all types
Walkers - Standard
all types
Walker Accessories
tray, clip on
quilted tote pouches
glides and wheels
Wheelchairs & Accessories
transport chair
lightweight wheelchair
bed to chair transfer board
carryall totes / pouches
anti-tip attachment
seat inserts / cushions
seat lift
Wheelchair Ramps

Patient Care
Diagnostic Supplies
Urinals and Bed Pans
all items