Small Markets in Assistive Technology: Obstacles and Opportunities



While the inherently small market for assistive technology (AT) can be a significant hurdle in the development of AT solutions, small markets can also provide opportunities to foster technology innovation under the right circumstances. Focusing on the wheelchair industry, I summarize the numerous obstacles that small companies face in trying to address small AT markets, as well as the range of opportunities available to assist small companies in their efforts to impact the quality of life of those with disabilities. Indeed, small market AT may be a perfect fit for the growing field of “small batch” manufacturing in combination with motivated individuals suddenly empowered by a host of new technologies. I close with a brief discussion of future possibilities for AT in small markets.


Supply Chain Venture Capital Assistive Technology Large Market Small Company 
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The following individuals have each contributed AT innovations to the marketplace: Murray Slagerman of Ki Mobility LLC, Dr. Arthur Prochazka of the University of Alberta, Dr. Mark Richter of Max Mobility LLC, and Harry Lew of the Neil Squire Society. I would like to thank them for their very helpful comments on this chapter.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instinct Mobility Inc., and Brain Interface LabNeil Squire Society, International Collaboration on Repair DiscoveriesVancouverCanada

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