Assistive technologies for ageing populations in six low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review

Volume,Pages 15
Authors :
Keshini Madara Marasinghe, Jostacio Moreno Lapitan, Alex Ross
Editors : BMJ Innovations
Publication Date : November 2015
Language : English

A publication prepared by the WHO Kobe Centre, “Assistive technologies (AT) for ageing populations in six low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review”, was published by the British Medical Journal Innovations (BMJ) on 11 September 2015. WKC conducted a systematic literature review of the current availability of AT, and existing legislation for provision of AT, for older adults in six low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), which are among countries with the highest estimated 65 and over population in the coming decades: Brazil, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Turkey and Zimbabwe.

The review was based on research using multiple databases retrieving an initial total of 538 relevant records, which were screened using specified criteria to yield 17 relevant studies. In summary, AT for ageing populations have received some attention in LMIC, and the limited set of studies reflects the emerging nature of this field. Key findings were that the six LMIC have some degree of available AT designed for older adults with an impairment or disability, but limited AT to prevent such impairment or disability; 2) production of AT in LMIC is currently low, 3) those LMIC with AT initiatives generally for disabled populations (e.g, Brazil, Cambodia, Egypt and India) have started production of low-cost AT, and all of the study countries had ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Analysis of review findings indicated the need for a comprehensive, integrated health and social system health system approach in order to increase the current availability of AT for ageing populations in LMIC. These would entail, yet not be limited to, work on: 1) promoting initiatives for low-cost AT; 2) awareness raising and capacity building on AT; 3) bridging the gap between AT policy and practice (including relevant legislation and incentives); and 4) fostering targeted research on AT.

A publication prepared by the WHO Kobe Centre, “Assistive technologies (AT) for ageing populations in six low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review”, was published by the British Medical Journal Innovations (BMJ) on 11 September 2015. WKC conducted a systematic literature review of the current availability of AT, and existing legislation for provision of AT, for older adults in six low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), which are among countries with the highest estimated 65 and over population in the coming decades: Brazil, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Turkey and Zimbabwe.

The review was based on research using multiple databases retrieving an initial total of 538 relevant records, which were screened using specified criteria to yield 17 relevant studies. In summary, AT for ageing populations have received some attention in LMIC, and the limited set of studies reflects the emerging nature of this field. Key findings were that the six LMIC have some degree of available AT designed for older adults with an impairment or disability, but limited AT to prevent such impairment or disability; 2) production of AT in LMIC is currently low, 3) those LMIC with AT initiatives generally for disabled populations (e.g, Brazil, Cambodia, Egypt and India) have started production of low-cost AT, and all of the study countries had ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Analysis of review findings indicated the need for a comprehensive, integrated health and social system health system approach in order to increase the current availability of AT for ageing populations in LMIC. These would entail, yet not be limited to, work on: 1) promoting initiatives for low-cost AT; 2) awareness raising and capacity building on AT; 3) bridging the gap between AT policy and practice (including relevant legislation and incentives); and 4) fostering targeted research on AT.