Accelerating Neuro Recovery
We started with patients
We Started With Patients
ableX started as an idea for helping motivated patients who knew that they had untapped recovery potential. In particular, if they could get back some use of their arms and hands then they could be more independent and life would become so much easier.
The original “handlebar” was taped to a joystick stuck upside down on the ceiling. The next prototype was a couple of sawn-off crutches held together by a lab clamp. These devices and the first ableX games were developed at IRL, a crown research institute. Initial clinical trials investigated the effect on chronic stroke disability, with strong results. IRL (now Callaghan Innovation) spun off the ableX concept into a company founded by Sunil Vather and Geoff Todd.
Neuroplasticity, stimulated by intensive bilateral arm training, was at that time understood in research circles but was not part of routine healthcare for stroke. And anyway, the typical rehab exercises were pretty dull and meaningless – hard work like this needs to be fun.
Once in the market, we began to observe ableX having an effect not only on patients’ physical function, but also on their concentration, their self confidence and overall well being. And patients loved the freedom of playing the games every day in their own time.
All of these strengths have been demonstrated in many clinical interventions at multiple sites, but most significantly highlighted in the published results of the Hand Hub implementation study at Royal Melbourne Hospital, a key reference site.
Then We Looked At Healthcare Delivery
We noticed that community and clinic-based rehab teams started looking at the ableX as an adjunct to their standard care: this was a tool which was easy to prescribe and which any health worker or a caregiver could administer, on top of 1:1 regular therapy.
Computer-based stroke rehabilitationAn important part of this is transferring our expertise to the care team, which we are currently collating as an online knowledge base available to all users, from caregivers to accredited health professionals.
All of these aspects are now being prepared for implementation for a follow up study at Royal Melbourne Hospital, and into a community health service enabled by Perron Institute and MSWA in Perth, Australia.
A Whole-Of-System Solution
Our first device customers are now becoming our first telerehabilitation clients. Down the track, ableX will become standard of care for neurological conditions, and may provide a template for other digital health solutions to deliver.
Public Health Specialist
A business executive who has done this kind of thing before, gets excited by creating extraordinary patient outcomes and vastly more productive healthcare services, just by putting simple and robust technologies into the hands of ordinary people.
An internationally recognised specialist in neuro rehabilitation, Anne has built a consulting, teaching and practising career by empowering, enthusing and challenging her patients. Practice makes functional.
A technology entrepreneur and Bioengineering PhD with over 20 years at the cutting edge of new research, development and implementation in public and private healthcare. Carey’s strength is combining ideas and techniques from across the technology spectrum in a simple, fresh solution.
"The system was designed to help people help themselves in their own home, at times that suit them and at their own pace"
Sunil Vather - ableX Founder
Paul owns Titanium Solutions, an Australasian enterprise health management software business, having listed and sold his first health software business to Henry Schein.
Sunil has successfully commercialized innovative technology in NZ and the global markets. He has a strong interest in stroke recovery because of personal family events.
An NZ biotech pioneer, adviser to Government and professional director.
Maxine represents CureKids Ventures and NZ Venture Investment Fund.
Kate Reid is the Director of Digital Health at Deloitte in New Zealand. In previous roles, she has pioneered personalised healthcare education and adherence in the NZ / UK with Orion Health and Atlantis Healthcare.
We connect patients, therapists and the care team through an automated platform to achieve extraordinary neurological recoveries all day, every day.
Some people call it virtual care, some say connected care, and others choose telerehabilitation. We say it’s the way this kind of healthcare should be delivered.
Over time we will build new therapy games, easy to use devices for hands and feet, we’ll release more expert methods and workflows.
We'll provide efficacy data to support the application of the ableX system for a greater range of impairments and a wider reach across neurological conditions.
All of this helps you to demonstrate delivery against established clinical performance standards.
We can offer guidance in mapping the intervention to the International Classification of Function.
Read about our recognition at the 2018 NZHIT Innovation Awards here .