Extended-form Case Study

MIRA Rehab: a tale of hi-tech physiotherapy

Published on May 29, 2017   20 min

A selection of talks on Technology & Operations

Please wait while the transcript is being prepared...
Hello everyone. My name is Cosmin Mihaiu. I'm the CEO and co-founder of MIRA Rehab. At MIRA, our mission is to motivate people to get better in a faster, easy, and fun way.
People who have had a stroke, a bone fracture, or were born with a neurological condition, usually require physical and sometimes cognitive exercises to regain their mobility and mental capacity. However, therapy can be a cumbersome and sometimes painful process. About 70 percent of patients don't follow their therapists recommended exercises at home and therefore, take longer to recover. This also results in therapists spending a longer time with the same patient, costing the entire system more money.
MIRA is a software platform that turns physical and cognitive exercises into video games, making therapy easier to follow. It asks patients to complete the recommended movements to progress through each game level. As a result, patients are playing while, at the same time, actually recovering. Our system is being used with patients suffering from orthopedic or neurological conditions from children, the youngest ever being three years old, to seniors, the oldest being 102 years old. MIRA is registered as a Class 1 medical device and can be installed in clinical environments where patients go for their regular treatment sessions, as well as at home where patients can be remotely monitored by their therapists. We have over 60 institutions worldwide using our system, helping 400 patients every month.
We are proud of where we have gotten so far and we know we still have a long way to go. But I thought I would go through our story, how we started and the challenges we faced along the way. Microsoft runs a yearly competition called Imagine Cup. It's a software competition for students with the theme, "Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems." About seven years ago, while I was studying software engineering in my hometown, Cluj in Romania, three colleagues of mine and I formed a team to participate in the Imagine Cup competition. Our first run was in 2010. We did well, ended up representing Romania at the worldwide finals in Poland but we didn't even get in the top 50 countries worldwide. However, we enjoyed the Imagine Cup experience and decided to participate again in the following year. We were brainstorming for a new idea and I told a story of how when I was seven years old, I broke my arm and after sitting with it in a cast for six weeks, I was supposed to do physiotherapy to extend and flex my elbow 100 times per day, seven days per week. I barely followed these home exercises because I found them boring and painful. But as a result, it took me another six weeks to get better. Besides my story, my colleagues immediately realized they had heard similar stories of a relative or friends who had difficult times going through physical therapy. We all asked ourselves if patients who didn't play their way to recovery.