Mammograms and disabilities

People with disabilities (be they motor, sensory, or cognitive) now represent about 15% of the planet’s population (approximately 1 in 7 people). These are men and women who have the same need for health prevention screenings as people who do not have limitations.

Despite current improvements (just think of the overcoming of architectural barriers in most buildings), it is quite evident that there are still multiple factors of discrimination in our society. Without forgetting that, at times, some elements of inaccessibility are hidden in the least predictable places, even in mammography equipment.

Mammography is indeed a non-invasive diagnostic test that is usually performed by making the patient stand next to the device for a few minutes. Therefore, this method of examination is not always easily accessible to people with motor disabilities or reduced mobility. Mammograms can be performed while the patient is sitting in a wheelchair. However, some women may perceive this difficulty to the point of giving up carrying out their mammographic checks regularly.

Increasingly accessible screenings and mammography examinations in case of motor disability

To overcome the problem, the clinic or hospital should acquire the latest generation mammography equipment with an adequate height adjustment system and an ergonomic design that allows a wheelchair to be easily positioned as close as possible and offer comfortable and safe access even to elderly, disabled, or non-collaborative patients.

The design of the new Helianthus series of digital mammography units has been studied to make it easier for the patients to position themselves in front of the device. In particular, the arm adjustment system allows the operator to lower the breast support surface down to 54 cm from the ground, offering elderly patients or patients with reduced mobility and/or in a wheelchair an easier and safer access. The operator can also control its movements both from the touchscreen panels on both sides of the arm and from the multifunction foot-operated controls.