Disability Patents – Inventions that might make a difference

United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 2017, was observed on December 3rd with the theme of: “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all.” Technology has played and continues to play an important role in making the world inclusive and taking steps towards the 2030 Agenda. We at BananaIP are committed to an inclusive world and pledge our support towards the same.
On the occasion of the disability day, we are hereby sharing some technology advancements reflected in the form of patents to make life easier and comfortable for people with disabilities. We have classified the patents/patent applications based on the nature of the disability they address. The patent data has been acquired from filings at the Indian Patent Office.
Patents/Patent Applications Addressing Disabilities

Speech Disability

The shirt that talks!

Utility: The patent application discloses a device implanted on the dress material of the user, wherein the movement of the fingers are interpreted by morse code in the device.
Patent/Application Number: 400/KOL/2015
Abstract: “Usually a person who has disability in speech (dumb), faces many difficult situations and lack of confidence due to this disability. We are trying to make their life much easier through this project. In this project electronic devices are implanted on the dress material, so that their fingers (covered with colour bands) movements will be interpreted by morse code, in the devices. The message or information to be conveyed by the person will be displayed on the LCD screen implanted on the dress material near the chest.” (The abstract has been taken from the patent document as is, and errors have not been corrected)
Inventors: Sunny Sanyal, Subhadeep Sahoo
Applicant: Subhadeep Sahoo, Dr. Annapurna Das, Sunny Sanyal

A Device that translates finger actions into sound

Utility: The patent relates to a device that can translate finger actions into equivalent phonetic sounds. It can be used by people with musco-skeletal disorders and with those suffering from speech disability in communicating by typing / finger movements.
Patent/Application Number: 5787/CHE/2015
Abstract: “This invention is useful for creating sounds of characters on a language. This device can be customized for operation in any language. Every single or combination of finger movement is set to enable single or combination of switches. These switched are coded with required character sounds on the microcontroller. The microcontroller will further produce character equivalent signals appropriate to the figure movement with the use of switches. These switches translate finger movements into suitable electrical signals. These electric signals will be decoded for equivalent character of the language. The electrical signal will be driven to a speaker to produce the sound subsequently. So sound of any character of a language can be generated with suitable finger movement. By continuous’ expression of finger movements characters will be pronounced one by one. This device shall be used by persons with speech disability to communicate with others with easy effort. This device is small, low cost and can be operated with less effort by the user.” (The abstract has been taken from the patent document as is, and errors have not been corrected)
Applicant: DR.M.MURUGAN

Visual Disability

A Navigation Guide

Utility: The patent application discloses a navigation system for a visually challenged person that can generate notifications in the form of audio or vibration signal and also detects the obstacle present within a radius of 1.5 meters.
Patent/Application Number: 4482/MUM/2015
Abstract: “A system for helping a visually challenged person to detect the status of visual signals which can be implemented for a variety of applications. Our system will help visually challenged people to understand or inform them about the status of the signals with the help of audio or other notifications. The transmitter module will detect or control the light signal or any other signal and then transmit it in digital format. The receiver module controlled by a microcontroller will detect die transmitted binary signal and then the microcontroller instructs the audio output module to play the appropriate voice command and so the user can get information or can understand the status of the signal and proceed further. Thus, our system acts like a guide for the visually impaired people to execute some tasks like road crossing, driving a car and so on.”
Inventors: Ajgaonkar Aarohi, Vishwasrao Priyanka, Jaiswal Supriya, Chakole Kartik, Kabdule Sahil, Tulsiram Anurag, Gandhi Harshit, Mangaonkar Nikhita, Talele Kiran.
Applicant: Gharpure Prachi

Movement Disability

A device that assists the specially challenged with movement and exercise

Utility: This patent relates to a device that can help a specially challenged person exercise and improve his muscle movements. This will be useful for patients suffering from cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular disorders with physical disability of a joint.
Patent/Application Number: 201711014156
Abstract: “The present Invention relates to a new approach to get biofeedback using a mechanical device “Goniometer”. The study was aimed to help a specially challenged person to improve his muscle activity and help his bio-therapist to communicate with him in a better way, since it is an enormous challenge to reach out to them. The feedback obtained from the device is “auditory” in nature as compared to the visual feedback obtained from the EMG. Experiments were also carried out to test the improvement in the range of muscle activity as a result of the auditory feedback received by the person. Any Mentally Challenged person with a physical disability of a joint can be made to exercise with the help of this device. The light weighed device has to be mounted on the respective joint which the physician is intending to cure. The device with its adjustable arm lengths can be mounted to work on almost all joints. The device and attached Velcro’s are required to implement this invention.”
Inventors: Mr. Anoop Honnekeri Nagraj, Mr. Rohit Saxena, Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Mr. Alok Agrawal
Applicant: Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Mr. Alok Agrawal, Mr. Anoop Honnekeri Nagraj, Mr. Rohit Saxena

Motorized Bicycle Wheelchair

Utility: The patent application relates to an electrically operated motorized bicycle wheelchair for physically challenged people.
Patent/Application Number: 201741032363
Abstract: “Physically challenged people have great difficulty in moving around from one place to another. The disability of such people is so overwhelming and they are forced to depend on others for their movement. With this background, a novel design of an electrically operated motorized bicycle wheelchair is disclosed to meet up with the demand of the users.”
Inventor: Dr. A. Buckshumiyan
Applicant: Bharath University

Hearing Disability

A hearing aid that remedies permanent hearing loss

Utility: This patent relates to a device that improves the hearing sense of people suffering from hearing problems by transmitting the sound signals via teeth and create a sensation of hearing using the Cochlea.
Patent/Application Number: 201741033270
Abstract: “Permanent hearing loss is a major disorder faced by many people. Though there had been growth in the technologies to cure hearing problems, the problem of permanent hearing loss due to damage in the ear drum is a major problem which is to be addressed.  The device developed operates on the principle of transmitting the sound signals via teeth and create a sensation of hearing using the Cochlea. The device can be used by people who are permanently affected by hearing due to malfunctioning of ear drum. The circuit operates with a simple amplifier and drive circuit which operates a micro motor.  The device can be developed with low cost and is more reliable compared to the conventional hearing aids.”
Inventor: M. Arivumani, T. Rampradesh
Applicant: IFET College Of Engineering

A personal hearing aid.

Utility: This patent relates to a device that can help people with hearing impairment access sounds.
Patent/Application Number: 201717031843
Abstract: “A listening device comprises a device housing (10,40) worn in the ear, a device housing (20,25) worn outside the ear and an electronic circuit which is divided over the two device housings (10,20). The first device housing comprises an electro-acoustic converter (13) and a first microphone (11). The electronic circuit comprises at least one further microphone (12,21, 22). A signal processing device (23) comprises at least one signal input to which the first microphone (11) and the at least one further microphone (12,21,22) are electronically coupled so as to generate a microphone signal thereto. The electro-acoustic converter (13) is connected to a signal output of the processing device (13) which is at least loadable with a processing algorithm and is thus able and configured to calculate and present the output signal as algorithmic resultant of at least the microphone signals from the first microphone ( 11) and the at least one further microphone ( 12,21,22)”.
Inventors: PANDER, Aeldrik; ALTENA, Jan Marinus;

Psychological Disability

Biscuits that help in treating children with autism disability

Utility: This patent relates to biscuits containing specially designed food ingredients to help children suffering from autism and other psychological disorders.
Patent/Application Number: 4517/CHE/2013
Abstract: “Biscuits for health promotion, skill development and behaviour modification in autism were specially formulated with beneficial functional food ingredients and developed as a food supplement to address the problems of the autistic children. This biscuit has been designed to be gluten free, casein free, sugar free and additive free to be conducive for the development of the autistic children. The specific food ingredients present in the biscuit were aimed at producing improvement in their nutritional status, alleviate their atypical behaviors and enhance their functional skills. Nutritional status of the children was enhanced with better immunoglobulin levels. A significant improvement (p<0.05) was observed in the behaviour pattern and the functional skills of the autistic children who received the nutritional supplement in the form of biscuits. This food supplement could be used as an alternative therapy for the improvement of children with autism disability. It needs to be patented since it has a prospective market value”.
Inventors: Dr. M. V. Alli, Dr. S. Premakumari
Applicant: Avinashilingam Institute Of Home Science And Higher Education For Women
These are merely few patents/patent application among the multitude of patents that relate to inventions addressing disabilities.

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