A new website is now available to connect people with adaptive equipment and resources to maintain their independence. Created by occupational therapist Brandie Archie, the website launched its beta test in mid-February.
Working as an occupational therapist, Archie noticed a disconnect between items she recommended for patients versus what they actually purchased. It may be hard for patients to locate the items, or adaptive equipment may not be covered by their insurance. For example, if someone has a leg amputated insurance may cover a wheelchair and a prosthetic, but it likely won’t cover a ramp to make their house wheelchair accessible.
When Archie was unable to find a solution to this issue within the healthcare system, she sought to create her own. Archie formed AccessAble Living, a company whose mission is to adapt environments to fit the needs of older adults and people with disabilities to keep them living safely in their homes in the Kansas City metro area. The company sends an occupational therapist to a patient’s house to determine what equipment they need, and then AccessAble Living sells them that equipment.
“That has been good but it also was limited because we can only get to the people we could drive to and it did not feel equitable that we had all this knowledge and resources but couldn’t really get that to anybody else outside of our driving radius in Kansas City,” Archie said.
This led Archie to develop AskSAMIE (Solving Accessibility with Mobile Innovative Equipment), a digital version of Accessible Living’s home assessment.
AskSAMIE allows a person, their caregiver, or healthcare professional to answer questions about problems they’re facing, and the website provides resources and recommendations for equipment to meet their physical, cognitive or environmental needs. The app will provide product recommendations, which can be purchased through the site, and also recommendations for partnerships or services from outside sources.
AskSAMIE is available both through an app or through asksamie.com.
The company recently began a beta test of the software, which is expected to last about a month. AskSAMIE is currently available on its website, and the beta test is open to anyone. Archie said feedback from beta testers is appreciated and will be used as she further develops the app.
While AskSAMIE only launched recently, Archie is already thinking of the future of the app. Her goal is to eventually build AskSAMIE into a more AI-based tool in which users can type in what they need, and the tool will provide recommendations.
“We want it to be a user-friendly interface and we want to make it as easy as possible, but it also could solve problems right now,” Archie said. “So when people go to the site, they can find solutions, find resources, purchase equipment, and get that to whomever needs it.”
AskSAMIE is currently fully operational and available on its website.