7 out of 10 people do not get proper physical rehabilitation after injuries or neurological diseases. Startup Raccoon uses Machine Learning, Big Data, Remote Monitoring and Gamification to help improve the effectiveness of treatment, make it fun, increase the quantity of patients rehab centres can treat at one time and even provide physiotherapy services remotely.
Every year, hundreds of millions of people need physical rehabilitation after accidents and neurological diseases. Anyone who is unlucky to get injured or have a stroke knows that the recovery is very long and boring process. Only 3 out of 10 people completely finish rehabilitation. 7 out of 10 mix ineffective, non-controlled and pretty boring treatment.
As a result, treatment is unproductive, people feel unwell, do not return to a full life, often remain with disabilities. And from a business point of view, rehab centers in EU lose €13,9B annually. Raccoon, that was recently named one of best 35 startups worldwide by Startup World Cup 2019, solves this problem with the Raccoon.Recovery solution.
This will be the next generation of recovery. Raccoon has built a hardware device to attach to patient’s arms, legs, back or hands. And there is an application that tracks the treatment. But the secret sauce is – rehabilitation is finally fun.
This device may be connected to any existing video games. Patient can play digital application by his own body, and that is how the Raccoon solution repairs patient’s motoric skills. This is digital-game-rehabilitation.
How did the startup come up with the idea?
“We used to manufacture controllers for video games and VR/AR.says Svitlana Malovana, CEO and co-founder of Raccoon.
Suddenly, it turned out that our customers had used these controllers after injuries or a stroke. Their hands were injured, so they could not use a classical mouse. Then something almost magical happened. The physical therapists of these people could not believe why the rehabilitation was so fast.
This made us pivot from video-game controllers to hand-rehab-controllers with full-scaled monitoring and analysing software. Thus Raccoon’s team accidentally made playing video games good for the health. We have started from hands because we have experience in creating controllers. After the hand, we will scale to the whole body”.
So, how does it work?
Step 1. The rehab specialist and patient together come up with rehab SMART goals in the application (i.e. to eat by myself in 3 weeks).
Step 2. The rehabilitologist can choose any physiotherapy tests digitized by Raccoon. Thanks to digitation, examination and getting results is done at least 8 times faster. According to test results, these algorithms estimate how achievable the goal is and offers corrections if they are needed.
Step 3. Machine learning builds a course with the list of movements to train, recommended games and longevity of daily training. It also forecasts longevity of treatment course basing on data from other patients.
Step 4. A patient gets the controller and access to his account and recovers while playing video games in any place (in the rehab centre or at home). He plays video games using prescribed movements. Physiotherapist and patient monitor the progress in real time.
Besides a special controller there are also additional modules with orientation sensors that can provide information on correctness of doing exercises which is extremely important for telerehabilitation when the physiotherapist is not there to control the patient.
More than physical health
There is the important question: After an accident or stroke why does one person regain function and one does not? Raccoon found that, although the problem the patient faces is physical disability, which can be restored by doing physical exercises, it is also necessary to think about mental factors, monitor and analyze changes in body function and structure, compare data of different patients to find best way of personal physical rehabilitation.
For this reason Raccoon has a psycho-emotional analysis that takes into account the mental health of the patient and tailors the course accordingly. Thus, they will be able to see and analyze the human response to a specific events in the game. For example, if a bomb exploded, then a person’s pulse increased and efficiency decreased, or vice versa – after a beautiful picture appeared, such as a rainbow or stars, the patient begins to work on the exercise more effectively.
Machine Learning to serve physiotherapists and patients
Raccoon.Recovery collects more than 150 parameters for patients, including personal data (20 parameters: age, gender, hobbies, etc.), examination test results, goniometric and dynamometric data, indicators of the psycho-emotional condition and a log of events in games.
After collecting enough data, the software determines the effect of each of the parameters on the duration of rehabilitation. The elaborated algorithm allows to calculate the coefficient of influence of each of the 150 parameters on the result.
After that (when enough data to do previous calculations is collected), a formula is created. When data about the new patient is filled in the formula – the system automatically calculates the probability of achieving the goal within the specified period and suggests goal correction.
Currently, Raccoon.Recovery is under testing at INNOVO rehabilitation centre and Kyiv City Clinical Hospital No. 18 in Ukraine and also tested in more than 15 rehab centres in Germany, the first market where the product will be presented. “Raccoon uses very innovative tools which could change methods in rehabilitation sector”, – says Dr. Constantin von Stechow, Managing Director at Clinic Wartenberg’s (Germany).
The Solution has already received appreciation from researches of Max-Plank Institute and Charite in Berlin and by leading insurance companies like AOK and TK who are interested in faster and more effective treatment which Raccoon.Recovery is able to provide.
In summer 2019 Raccoon will enter German market with a simple model of the product with digitized examination tests, gamification and remote monitoring, while ML will be trained and trials for advanced product will be done.
Then the solution will scale to other countries and to full body, and when enough data will be gathered, Raccoon is going to launch an independent solution – digital physiotherapist, that will provide the ability of effective and fun rehabilitation for those people who are not able to visit physiotherapist due to logistics, cost or lack of specialists in their region.
The team has already got funding from EU program Horizon 2020, Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berlin and an Angel Investors. Raccoon has won to join outstanding startup acceleration and incubation programs like Crowd Inc (Ukraine), SABIT (USA) and Startupbootcamp (Germany), entered the Top 12 of the most promising rehabilitation projects based on the Fortune 100 analysis and won the Startup World Cup Ukraine 2019. Now the company is searching for additional funding to implement more functions and for academic partners to conduct trials.
So, if an accident happens to you, Raccoon.Recovery will give you a hand!