More often than not products that cater to differently-abled, especially children, are expensive and not user-friendly. To address this, a social enterprise Enability Foundation for Rehabilitation has come up with iGest, a wearable, to aid children with speech and motor disorders to communicate better and also for therapy.

Priced at ₹3,000, the product is available at a fraction of the cost of its equivalents. Most products in the market are meant for use by doctors, for providing therapy, and costover ₹5 lakh.

iGest can be connected to a tablet or a mobile phone through Bluetooth and records the movement of the wearer, stores it and pushes voice messages that are preset for that particular movement. The device can be used for occupational therapy without having to depend on a therapist.

Pradeep T, Director, Enability Foundation, said there is a void in the supply for devices that aid people in communication and therapy. “That is when we came up with iGest.”

iGest tracks the physiotherapy exercise performance of the wearer and stores it in a database. In case the wearer makes a mistake, the device will alert the user and instruct the right method with a voice message. The company works with therapists for monitoring progress online.

Cost-effective

The company has partnered institutions such as IIT-M for research and development of a cost-effective model. The organisation collaborates with non-governmental organisations and schools for special children, which will train the children, to cut down the training and marketing cost. As it is a non-for-profit establishment, manufacturing is funded by CSR grants.

“The end-users now have to pay only for raw materials, which is ₹3,000,” Pradeep said. “We are targeting the 6-10 year age group, as early intervention can help the children overcome the disability through therapy and enter the workforce, unlike the case today.”

The organisation is also developing a tactograph, a machine for creating picture books for visually-challenged children. “The picture books are usually made using Styrofoam printers that cost over ₹1 lakh. Schools or libraries running on limited funding cannot afford such high costs. So we came up with a solution through tactograph,” Pradeep said.

A tactograph creates simple picture books for children to understand basic shapes and costs ₹20,000. The organisation has so far got 10 orders from libraries, schools and other institutions that work with visually-challenged children, he said.

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