Arm Rehabilitation Device for Stroke Victims Wins Open Innovation Competition

Published Sep-14-19

A game-based arm rehabilitation device to restore and improve upper arm mobility of stroke victims and people with upper motor deficit.

BeAble Health, India

The Story:

Arm Rehabilitation Device for Stroke Victims Wins Open Innovation Competition Every year there are 1.8 million incidences of stroke in India. The medical condition is the number one cause of disability in the country. To improve outcomes for stroke and motor rehabilitation victims a startup called BeAble Health developed ArmAble, a gamified arm rehabilitation device for the neuro-rehabilitation of people with upper motor deficit due to conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.

Open Innovation Challenge

The innovation was one of the winners of the Open Innovation Challenge 2019, a contest that received more than 1,600 submissions across the country and was part of the country's India Innovation Growth Program.

BeAble was awarded a seed grant of Rs 25 lakh (approx. $USD 360,000) to help with market penetration and scale-up operations.

Congratulating BeAble on its success, Prof Renu John, Co-Head, CfHE and Head, Department of Biomedical Engineering, IIT, Hyderabad, said, “The Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship (CfHE), IIT, Hyderabad, is focused entirely on boosting healthcare innovation in India. BeAble is one such example of an innovative startup coming out from the CfHE and we are sure they will make a positive impact on Indian healthcare sector. IIT, Hyderabad looks forward to incubating many more successful startups through CfHE.”

Immersive Game

ArmAble is an immersive game developed exclusively for arm therapy and is designed to make sessions fun and engaging. The plug and play device uses immersive games which increases the number of repetitious arm movements to augment recovery.

According to the team behind it, the system enables much higher repetitions than is possible with traditional therapies. These repetitions are crucial in stroke rehabilitation because they stimulate the brain to rewire and strengthen neural connections, reestablishing communication between the damaged parts of the brain and the body. The system is connected to a cloud platform allowing a therapist to monitor patient progress remotely by looking at data such as speed, patterns and accuracy.

At the time of writing this article 12 users had tried ArmAble for a total of 120 therapy hours which involved more than 72,000 repetitions. Patients reported quick recoveries and among the feedback was a comment from a physiotherapist at the Sahara Rehabilitation Center who said that ArmAble improves muscle grade very fast compared to traditional therapy.

Next Steps

Commenting on the impact the open innovation prize will have on the startup, Habib Ali, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BeAble said, “IIGP (India Innovation Growth Program ) 2.0 has put BeAble Health in a position which allows us to aggressively pursue our targets. The seed grant will accelerate our pilot production.”

The company is aiming to deploy 100 devices by the end of 2019.

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