Assistive technology in Sweden
Assistive devices are products designed for people with disabilities. Assistive technology can also refer to methods and new technology.
Approximately every fifth Swede has a disability, and about half of these individuals use assistive devices. Assistive devices are funded by tax revenues.
Assistive device provision is regulated by the Swedish Health and Medical Services Act (HSL). Prescriptions and management of assistive devices, which are generally medical device products, are regulated by instructions from the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Medical Products Agency. Instructions on quality management systems, for example, must also be adhered to by actors in the field of assistive technology.
Assistive devices can:
- prevent future loss of function or ability
- improve or preserve function or ability
- compensate for deteriorated or lost function or ability to cope with daily life.
For many years, the Swedish Institute of Assistive Technology has focused on assistive technology that can support persons with cognitive, neuropsychiatric and psychiatric disabilities in their daily life. It has been ascertained that with appropriate support, many people can experience a more secure and independent life and more easily participate in society.