This market in France is considered financially uninteresting and not very profitable. Result: prices with peak profit margins for products which are often poorly adapted to the different types of handicap.
On the basis of this observation, AFM-Téléthon decided to move into the development of technical aids with a view to innovating products, adapted to real patient needs and financially accessible.
In 2009, it therefore created a unit specialising in research and innovation, to develop technical and technological solutions to meet users' needs, in partnership with manufacturers.
Innovative products developed with users
For this purpose, AFM-Téléthon relied on users' words based on the following procedure:
- with medical and paramedical professionals, they identify the gaps in existing products which are listed in a specifications document.
- the association's Innovation unit then canvasses industries, encouraging them to develop a product based on the comments collected and which it supports by having the product tested by future users throughout the design phase.
- AFM-Téléthon then ensures that the product is properly distributed at a reasonable price.
A contact role which is essential between users, researchers, industrialists and distributors, finally leads to the offer of appropriate, financially accessible technical aids.