Grant Application

Mitch Bell, MS, ATP, UPMC Mercy Pavilion

Proposed Innovation

Assistive technology can be very helpful for older adults, patients with recent injuries, and people with disabilities and other challenges. But health care providers often lack the time, resources, and education needed to research and recommend appropriate products. The quality of assistive technology services also can vary greatly from one facility to another.

The project aims to “level the playing field” by increasing awareness of and access to these resources. This project will create a virtual storeroom of life-enhancing assistive technology products that patients and providers across UPMC can access for information on devices available for adaptive cooking, adaptive gaming, smart phone accessibility, and other uses.

Improvements in Action

Assist+, an assistive technology experience center, will open in the new UPMC Mercy Pavilion in early 2024. Patients and providers can physically visit Assist+ to see demonstrations and try out various products.

This project expands on Assist+ by creating a database of assistive technology devices and resources available at UPMC. Using telehealth technology, visitors can visit the Assist+ experience center virtually to learn about the devices and funding sources. During these virtual visits, people also can remotely talk with team members and receive recommendations on which products to use.

Intended Results

This project has the potential to revolutionize assistive technology services within UPMC. Creating an easily accessible central platform will expand clinical knowledge and improve access to assistive technology resources and information. It also will improve health equity and access, which is especially important for those in underserved communities who may not have the resources to visit the clinic in person.