Neurofenix is a healthtech startup originally founded in the UK. Recently, they received €7 million in venture capital to grow their product line and begin clinical trials in the US. Their goal is to improve patient-centric at-home recovery therapies that are considered more supportive and engaging.
Medical care providers around the world lack the resources to provide care— even with cutting-edge technology and digital innovations. Fortunately, these same innovations can provide solutions to this problem. Rehabilitation care is one aspect of healthcare that has been overlooked; fortunately its provision is now possible with recent tech advancements.
Neurofenix is a healthtech startup that aims to improve neurorehabilitation for patients who suffer from injuries to the brain, spinal cord or spine. Over 75% of these patients are thought to face long-term disabilities due to a lack of occupational therapists and poor neurorehabilitation. It’s believed that many patients are left behind by an overwhelmed healthcare system that can’t support home therapy programs with monitoring, engagement and support. By contrast, Neurofenix hopes to improve the recovery of these patients through technology that can help them regain mobility, independence and functionality.
Neurofenix just closed approximately €7 million worth of funding. Their goal is to overcome what their startup is about.
Existing investors joined HTH, InHealth Ventures and AlbionVC to lead the Series A round.
Buxarrais and Athanasiou have recruited a team of 15 members with experience in pharmaceuticals, healthcare and clinical commercialization. They have also created an advisory board composed of chairwoman Shirin Dehghan — a operating partner at scale-up investor Frog Capital — and Dr. Charles Carignan, former CMO of Boston Scientific.
In addition to seed funding amounting to unknown millions, this €7 million investment came after the fact.
Andrew Elder, Deputy Managing Partner of AlbionVC, commented that Neurofenix was poised to revolutionize the neurorehabilitation industry. As a neurosurgeon, Elder noticed a significant gap in this market and saw Neurofenix as a way to fill it. Neurofenix’s digital therapeutics platform could be used in clinics and at home; it allows for superior recovery of motor function, muscle strength and ability to perform daily activities.
Neurofenix – Market Need
Neurofenix was founded in 2016 with the intention of improving how patients receive neurological rehab therapy. Supplies of occupational therapists in hospitals are reportedly low; this causes patients to only receive a few hours of therapy per week. Furthermore, patients at home are typically forced to use unengaging therapy programs with little support once they’re released from the hospital.
Patients’ strokes cost the NHS approximately $3 billion every year. This is a significant cost, and one that’s demotivating and upsetting for patients. Over 100,000 people in the UK suffer from a stoke every year. In the United States, around 795,000 people suffer from a stroke each year. Costs for rehab can go up to $17,000 per patient annually. Additionally, the loss of productivity due to disability and informal care costs the US economy $4 billion.
Neurofenix is a UK-based startup that aims to improve the quality of aftercare for patients recovering from neurologically related injuries. Their goal is to provide patients with a clinical-grade rehab program customized to their specific needs. To accomplish this, Neurofenix utilizes sensor-based technology alongside a telemedicine platform.
The NeuroBall™ program currently focuses on arm and hand therapy. Over 300 therapists and patients helped create this device, which is customized to each patient’s specific needs. The device allows patients to perform increasingly challenging movements that can build up their strength.
This app comes with a corresponding sensor system that can be used by patients with limited mobility. It contains games and activities that patients can play, and the real-time feedback system encourages them to see their progress. Additionally, the advanced sensors in the system can detect the smallest movements, which helps patients who have impaired mobility.
Guillem Singla Buxarrais, CEO and co-founder of Neurofenix, said, “Over the last six years, we have been crafting and developing our patient-focused sensor-based technology and platform. This has led to the creation of NeuroBall, a transformative neuro-rehabilitation tool proven to improve range of motion and reduce pain in patients after a stroke. Furthermore, these patients were able to perform hundreds of movement repetitions independently at home— something they wouldn’t have access to due to insurance costs, transportation problems and other health issues. This proves that NeuroBall can transform neuro-rehabilitation— something that would have been inaccessible due to factors like finances, insurance and health issues.”
Patients achieved 20 times more movement repetitions when using this method compared to other methods. The method’s portability allows patients to take it anywhere they want in order to regain their strength. Three trials were held at Brunel University London between 2017 and 2021.
The NeuroBall’s telemedicine platform is the Neurofenix Portal. Patients can complete their rehab exercises at home on this platform; the Portal allows for remote patient monitoring.
Plans To Expand
Neurofenix has developed a product that improves the lives of thousands of patients. Their product combines clinically-validated neuro-rehabilitation with patient-centric proprietary technology. Because Neurofenix is one of the only companies in this space, their product is expected to enter a very lucrative market and have a significant positive impact.
Charles Carignan, board member of Neurofenix and a doctor of medicine, praised NeuroBall as the start of Neurofenix’s journey as a sophisticated neuro-rehab program. He said that nearly 900,000 people in the United States and United Kingdom experience a stroke every year. Very few of these stroke victims recover their full potential due to a lack of access to intensive physical and occupational therapy. Carignan was impressed by what NeuroBall could provide for stroke patients recovering from their condition: sensors, software, utility for the hand or arm, and gamification.
The startup plans to develop their product line, begin US clinical trials and venture to America with the new funding.
Guillem Singla Buxarrais thanked AlbionVC, HTH and InHealth Ventures for supporting their unique neurological therapy platform. With their help, Buxarrais stated that he was excited to partner with the VC firms and believed that their platform would change the world of neurorehabilitation.