Innovation isn’t confined to the world of computers and smartphones. In 2022, some of the most innovative devices will help people who struggle with mobility. In the accessibility industry, wheelchairs continue to dominate, and new trends emerge. These industry trends offer a chance at an easier life for people who have challenges with routine tasks.
Ultra-light wheelchairs are the innovation set to make the biggest splash in the upcoming year. Lightweight wheelchairs, like the So Lite Wheelchair, help people who need to take their chairs on the road. These ultra light options weigh between 15 and 18 pounds, making them easier to move in and out of car trunks, buses, and subways.
Users can easily propel these chairs for longer distances, thus increasing opportunities for independence and freedom, especially in big cities with robust public transportation. The wheelchairs’ low weight also makes them easier to maneuver around tight corners.
Another industry trend emerging for 2022 involves more accessible financing for people who need expensive wheelchairs and other mobility devices. Electric wheelchairs can cost a pretty penny, especially when they have additional features, and health insurance offers limited coverage.
To ensure that everyone who needs a wheelchair can finance one, many mobility businesses are opening opportunities to people who may not have had access to wheelchair financing in previous years.
As more people with mobility problems turn to smart devices around the home, wheelchair manufacturers are adding smart features to their wheelchairs. These new wheelchairs have cameras, sensors, and other innovative tech that makes it easier for users to maneuver through city streets, save their batteries, and adjust settings.
The first generation of smart wheelchairs should open up more ideas and innovation for the later generations of wheelchair engineers.
Increasing elderly population
Because the population is getting older, the demand for wheelchairs is growing. Healthcare innovations have extended the lifespan of humans worldwide, and as people age, they need more assistive devices.
The wheelchair industry isn’t the only mobility device industry that is seeing a growth in innovation, as tech companies look for ways to make lives easier.
More need resulting from COVID-19
Unfortunately, the people who survive COVID-19 after a lengthy stay in the hospital often need wheelchairs to move around their homes and workplaces. This spike in wheelchair usage has increased the demand for lightweight and affordable options, as people with long-haul COVID often lack the endurance for older, heavier models.
More businesses, like grocery stores, shopping malls, and amusement parks, will need to add to their wheelchair collections to meet the needs of long-haul COVID sufferers. These temporary users will want affordable, durable, and lightweight options.
Increased need for powered wheelchairs
The need for powered wheelchairs continues to grow, both for personal and public use. People with mobility issues want to get out and experience the world around them. Not all wheelchair users can spin a chair’s wheels with the power of their arms, so electric wheelchairs have become the only tool they can use.
The medical mobility industry continues to innovate as it strives to open up the world to people with disabilities. The exciting high-tech innovations are reducing barriers and making lives more enjoyable.