When Virgilio Bento’s brother needed to go to Cuba 20 years in the past to obtain low cost physiotherapy as he recovered from a life-threatening automotive crash again house in Portugal, he didn’t know it might encourage an innovation.
Now, after creating know-how that makes use of physique sensors and synthetic intelligence for his doctorate in digital engineering, Bento goals to rework the best way victims of strokes and accidents bodily get well.
The Stroke Wearable Operative Rehabilitation System (SWORD) offers an train programme on a pill pc, which provides directions to a affected person, whose actions are monitored by sensors strapped to the physique.
Progress studies are despatched via the cloud to a distant physiotherapist, who can alter the workouts by sending directions again to the pill for the affected person to see.
“It isn’t magic, it is easy,” stated Bento, explaining how his system might mark a sea change by dramatically decreasing the price of bodily rehabilitation and making it reasonably priced to hundreds of thousands.
“I noticed firsthand very vividly the challenges that my mother and father confronted to offer intensive bodily rehabilitation,” he stated. “I assumed to myself ‘okay this can be a large problem that no one is taking a look at, no one is making an attempt to unravel, I’ll attempt to remedy it’.”
The market place for medical know-how is exploding, however few options have been designed to assist the intensive physiotherapy required for critical circumstances like stroke. Options, like robotics, are vastly costlier.
“There aren’t sufficient therapists and the numbers (who want them) are solely going to go up (as populations age),” stated Tom Paprocki, managing director of the innovation and know-how middle at Direct Provide, America’s main supplier of kit and providers to senior houses. “This type of know-how will assist bridge that hole.”
Paprocki has vetted 1,four hundred know-how begin-ups within the sector and says Bento’s system is within the prime 5.
Bento’s concept is straightforward — to supply sufferers bodily, interactive rehabilitation within the consolation of their very own residence by eliminating the necessity for troublesome and costly visits to a physiotherapist at a clinic.
It has taken years to refine and adapt, counting on distinctive sensor know-how and the newest advances in cloud computing. Preliminary outcomes present ninety three % of sufferers improved their motor efficiency utilizing the workouts offered by the system.
The yearly estimated value of treating and caring for stroke survivors – the place Bento has concentrated his analysis – is 30 billion euros ($32 billion) in Europe and fifty seven billion euros within the US, in accordance with a report offered by Bento’s firm to the European Fee.
Bento says his system, which provides sufferers speedy suggestions and a rating on the variety of proper and incorrect actions they carry out, will value one tenth of physiotherapy.
“On the finish of every train the outcomes seem, what number of occasions I did the actions, what number of medals I gained,” stated Alvaro, fifty six, who has used the system after hip surgical procedure. “There’s digital compensation for those who do the workouts nicely, it is sort of enjoyable and finally ends up being a little bit of a recreation as properly.”
Bento gained a improvement grant of 1 million euros from the European Union in 2014 beneath a program for know-how fashions promising to “finally disrupt present markets.”
He has raised 1 million euros from personal buyers and is now launching one other financing spherical of three million euros as he rolls out SWORD within the U.S. market.
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