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15 Jun 2012

The right product at the right price

Illustration for article: The right product at the right price
Technical aids give back independence to those who, like many neuromuscular disease sufferers, have lost the use of their arms and legs. Telethon donations also allow the development of innovative products to help people with disabilities resume their daily activities such as moving around, grasping objects and using a computer or telephone.

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.