Your source of information on daily living equipment worldwide
Some of the best known, expert information providers worldwide have joined together to create the biggest, most comprehensive information service on assistive technology (AT) serving older and disabled people, their families and carers across the globe.
A wealth of information you need is at your fingertips. Take a look and discover how much there is to know. The EASTIN network - whose name recalls the European Union project that initiated this global information system - will help you find solutions for independent living or remove obstacles in the way of a full life. Here you have the starting point for the most impressive web-based tour of AT products worldwide.
The Eastin website is is an easy-to-use tool that opens the door to several national databases at the same time, so you can look up the information you require and have it immediately translated into your own language, where necessary. You can analyse, compare, and choose the best and most up-to-date solutions for your needs. You may be a user of AT or a family member; you may advise clients as a healthcare professional or work in an ever-expanding industry as an engineer or manufacturer. Whoever you are this website may help you find answers to your questions – in your own language.
If you want to search for information on AT products across the globe, use "Assistive Products". Products can be searched by product classification, by keywords, by their commercial name or by the name of their manufacturer. You can also limit the search to the most recent products or carry out advanced searches by combining more search parameters.
If you want to search for information on companies involved in AT manufacturing or supplying, use "Organizations" and select "Companies".
If you want to search for AT associated information such as case studies, ideas on how to solve problems and fact sheets, use "Library". Such information may include Articles (e.g. offering advice and describing issues to be aware of when using or seeking to buy an AT item and how to ensure that an AT item is appropriate for the user), FAQs (Frequently Asked Question), Case Descriptions (articles describing how an individual has exploited AT to enable him or her to maintain, or to regain, his or her independence), Ideas (short descriptions of particular problems, illustrating how certain type of device or certain tricks could be exploited to solve them) and various other items.
If you have a question for one of the Eastin Partners or National Contacts, use "Info request".
If you are an AT manufacturer and want a product to be added to the EASTIN databases, use "Submit a product".
"About us" provides the contact data and the Internet websites of the EASTIN partner Organisations. These include the Full Partners of the EASTIN Association and the National Contact Organisations (Associate Partners) for the Countries that have no EASTIN full partner.
"Documents" includes public material on the EASTIN network to download.
"Gate Community" links to the GATE initiative (Global Collaboration on Assistive Technology) of the World Health Organization. The Eastin partners and the Eastin network as a whole are closely collaborating with this strategic initiative.
The EASTIN information system was initially created in 2005 thanks to the support of the European Union within the eTEN initiative. Then in 2006 the self-funded EASTIN Association was created to maintain and further develop the EASTIN system and the EASTIN network. Gradually, other partners joined the network, initially from the European Union and later from other countries in the world.
In 2008 EASTIN was a prize winner in the German competition "Ideenpark Gesundheitswirtschaft" (promoted by Financial Times Deutschland) and in the Italian "PKM 360° Giorgio Sacerdoti Award" (promoted by the National Computer Society). The awards recognised EASTIN as an excellent and unique example of effective knowledge management in the health and social sector, that significantly contributes to the advancement of assistive technology all over Europe and worldwide. The EASTIN website was redesigned several times, based on leading edge technology that greatly improved its performance and fully exploited its multilingual capabilities. Now the website works in many languages and returns information in the user-chosen language even if the original documents are stored in different languages in the EASTIN databases. In case the original document contains also free text, this is automatically translated in English.
What are ISO codes
The most widespread method to classify assistive technology products is the ISO 9999 international standard. All products and associated information in the EASTIN databases are classified according to this standard.
The ISO 9999 is a three-level classification system that clusters AT products round "CLASSES" (e.g. mobility, communication, recreation, etc.), then round "SUBCLASSES" (e.g. within class "mobility": powered wheelchairs, cars adaptations, etc.), eventually round "DIVISIONS" (e.g. within subclass "powered wheelchairs": electric motor-driven wheelchair with manual steering, electric motor-driven wheelchair with powered steering, etc.). Each ISO 9999 classification item has a numerical code: for instance, item "electric motor-driven wheelchair with powered steering" has the code 12.23.06, where the first two digits stand for Class 12 "mobility", the following two digits stand for subclass 12.23 "powered wheelchairs" and the last two digits stand for this specific division.
If you are not yet familiar with the ISO 9999 classification system, it is a good idea to take some minutes and have a look at it: finding your way in the world of assistive technology will become much easier. The best way is to click "Guided search by ISO product classification code" in the "Assistive Technology Products" section of this website, and freely browse the various classes and subclasses to see what kind of products are covered by each classification item.
It is worth mentioning that the ISO 9999 standard is subject to continuous review, in compliance with the rules established by the International Standards Organisation for the maintenance of any international standard. EASTIN and all national databases belonging to the EASTIN Association use the latest release, approved in 2016 (ISO 9999:2016). This new release re-defined the concept of "assistive product" as follows:
"any product (including devices, equipment, instruments and software), especially produced or generally available, used by or for persons with disability for participation; to protect, support, train, measure or substitute for body functions/structures and activities; or to prevent impairments, activity limitations or participation restrictions".
Within the GATE initiative, the World Health Organization adopts as a similar - although simplified - definition of "assistive product":
"any external product (including devices, equipment, instruments or software), especially produced or generally available, the primary purpose of which is to maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence, and thereby promote their well-being. Assistive products are also used to prevent impairments and secondary health conditions."