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Bridging the Gap in Stroke Rehabilitation: Rising Craft’s XR Approach

Rising Craft (official site) is a company that aims to improve rehabilitation by using the brain’s visual cortex to improve stroke patients’ quality of life.

In Korea (and probably in many other countries), strokes have become the #1 cause of disabilities, according to Rising Craft, with 72% of patients having after-effects, including hemiplegia, a well-known consequence of strokes. It’s fair to say that many of us know someone who has been affected by a stroke.

Millions of people worldwide have experienced such an unfortunate event, and in (south) Korea alone, there are more than 630,000 patients who need Billions of dollars of annual medical expenses.

Unfortunately, rehabilitation is a very long process as the brain needs to be re-wired, and such long-term rehabilitation would be too expensive to provide in a medical facility. As such, patients are typically sent home as soon as possible. As you can imagine, the recovery can be less than optimum.

And that’s exactly why Rising Craft came up with TiU medi, a digital rehabilitation solution that can be used “from the hospital to the home.” It works by having software and equipment for clinical environments to be used in the first days/weeks when it’s most crucial. There’s also an “at home” device/app combo that patients can use by themselves or with the help of a family member or an at-home care professional.

Either way, the data is safely recorded, giving medical staff and experts a chance to keep track of the recovery journey without requiring patients to visit a medical facility, thus keeping costs low. So, how does it work?

As mentioned at the beginning, it’s about using the visual cortex to stimulate the brain into a path of recovery. In essence, it is akin to “simulating” the effect of having an arm or a leg moving (from the brain’s point of view), even though the affected limb doesn’t move (yet).

This simulation (or emulation) works by using XR technologies (augmented reality or extended reality) to have the brain visualize certain movements. In turn, this affects the brain’s plasticity and helps overall recovery. For example, some visual effects are based on the recognized mirror therapy that can significantly improve medical outcomes.

The great thing with virtual training is that it is possible to control the progression grade and offers great potential to gauge the current recovery point of a patient objectively.

Another advantage of XR training is that it can target specific activities or needs, such as rehabilitation training, occupational training, cognitive training, or mind care (dementia-related illnesses).

To fulfil its goal of maximizing the number of patients it can help, it is a product that is designed to be highly cost-efficient, according to Rising Craft. At the same time, it requires much less space to install and operate than existing alternatives, further decreasing indirect costs. The company estimates that this system costs 19-44% less to operate.

From a business standpoint, there’s a two-pronged approach with a B2B and a B2C model. The B2B aspect involves selling professional-grade hardware, support, and maintenance. On the other hand, the consumer product can be rented out, but there’s a monthly subscription fee of about $68.

Since it’s a global medical product, TiU medi needs to gain some government approvals and certifications, and Korea will obviously become the core market in the short term. However, the product is scheduled to enter (U.S.) FDA pre-approval in 2024, with an overseas (outside of Korea) clinical trial set for 2025 if everything goes well. Rising Craft is going to CES 2024 to meet with potential global partners.

If you search for “stroke patients XR VR technologies”, there is a good amount of research that validates this approach, so Rising Craft is on the right track, and it might come down to how fast the company can get to market and whether its implementation will surpass its competitors.

The more researchers and companies innovate on this front. The sooner patients will benefit, so we hope to hear of great medical outcome data from patients in the near future.

Filed in Medical. Read more about , , and .

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