6 Startups Changing Rehabilitation
The rehabilitation space is fast paced and adapting to new insights and technologies. While many OTRs prefer to focus on low-cost, and thus, low-tech devices, there is great potential from new technology. Companies have identified gaps in the rehabilitation process and are looking to fill it with technology based solutions that can be both engaging and effective. We have identified 6 tech startups who are bringing innovation to rehabilitation
Akili Interactive Labs, Inc.
Founded by PureTech Health back in 2011, Akili Interactive develops video games for cognitive treatments. Their focus is prescription digital medicine, combining and reinventing the tech and health industries. A creative and immersive action game is the basis of the treatment, personalized with adaptive algorithms for specific conditions. Akili’s products for ADHD treatment are currently under review by the FDA. If cleared, Akili could be prescribed just as easily as other drugs.
Reflexion Health has been carefully developing virtual physical therapy. VERA, a virtual exercise assistant, can coach patients through home physical therapy. With 3D motion-capture technology, each movement is tracked, so every step of therapy can be personalized and carefully taught. Communication with providers is also available, with metrics to help treatment plan adjustments. VERA recently received FDA 501(k) clearance for treatment of the trunk and upper extremities, following their previous clearance for VERA treating the lower extremities.
A Finnish startup, Myontec uses electromyography (EMG), muscle activation technology, in wearables. Sensors are embedded in the clothing, constantly monitoring muscle activity while worn. This information can be used to adjust everyday activities to prevent and reduce chances of injury in sports and the workplace. Myontec can tell when a certain muscle will cramp, but going even further, can help detect potential future conditions like ACL tears due to strain. Atria, a leading food company, found that an overhaul of their production processes led to overwhelming injuries and sick leaves by meat cutters. Using Myontec, they were able to determine that a longer blade would alleviate the pressure on the wrist -- helping previously injured workers recover and healthy workers from getting injured.
Limbix Health, Inc.
Combining virtual reality and healthcare, California-based startup Limbix Health has been working on programs to help with exposure therapy. Introducing patients to triggers gradually in a controlled environment allows for great recovery potential. While aimed mostly at psychologists, Limbix technology can also greatly aid occupational therapists to help manage conditions such as anxiety in everyday life. Recently, Limbix partnered with Pixvana, to create an immersive therapy for teenage depression and anxiety.
MindMaze is focused on neurorehabilitation using virtual environment technology. The MindMotion PRO is developed for inpatient use, designed for early motor rehabilitation of upper-body limbs. MindMotion GO is designed for outpatient use, suitable for both practice and home settings. With a large variety of engaging activities, patients are able to do exercises specifically tailored to their current abilities.
Of course, we can’t make a list about startups looking to change occupational therapy without mentioning ourselves! Ashana Health is looking to improve rehabilitation of the upper-body and cognitive functions. The flagship product is the DynaWheel, a portable and affordable video game-based rehabilitation device, looking to help patients manage and recover with conditions such as but not limited to: stroke, concussion, upper body injury, ADHD, Autism, and Alzheimers. Created by William Craelius, PhD. from Rutgers, with input from therapists, the DynaWheel is primed for optimal patient adherence and recovery, while being engaging and fun. With cloud data, patients and providers can communicate and adjust plans based on progress.
Technology has a profound impact on people’s lives -- can rehabilitation be the industry to be disrupted? As therapists begin to incorporate high tech solutions into their treatment plans, we expect to see an increase in patient motivation and adherence.
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