The mortality rate of people with intellectual disabilities is higher than the rest of the population by at least 16 years. This is due to both lack of accessible infrastructure and inability to request proper health care provision. People with disabilities often suffer from heart problems, ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, adjustment disorders, cognitive impairment and suicidal tendencies.
Researchers have come to a clear conclusion: Physical fitness is not optional for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities – it is essential for preserving their health and lifespan. There are 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the world, and around 40,000 in Israel.
Also, there are not enough accessible gyms for special needs populations, and the financial costs of maintaining a healthy lifestyle are very high.Furthermore, many nutrition and fitness apps exist, but these are not accessible or modified for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These populations are often isolated and lack the motivation to work out, or don’t have anyone to remind them to do so – in most cases, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities simply forget to work out.
An accessible fitness app for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (including athletes) aimed to encouraging them to work out and helping athletes who already work out add at least one additional work out a week.
We created an app with personal workout programs that use AI and speech recognition and are thus 100% adapted for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The system is currently in the beta stage and consists of only the athlete’s interface, meaning that users can log in independently or with assistance, complete the modified registration process and create a personalized workout plan that takes into consideration their specific disability.
We are planning additional features in future, such as allowing the trainer or parent to see the user’s progress and providing comprehensive solutions for a healthy lifestyle: nutrition, instructions, voice recordings of texts that give the user a more personalized and accessible experience, an accessible dashboard showing the athlete’s personal progress, workout space recommendations and an English-language interface.