Through a phenomenon called plasticity, the human brain has an amazing capacity to repair some parts itself after injury. That’s why people who experience brain damage undergo rehabilitation that includes communication therapy.
But that therapy can be expensive, inaccessible and tedious. Veera Anantha, a technology entrepreneur who just founded his first health-focused company, Constant Therapy, said he was surprised to see that the current standard for rehabilitation typically involves in-office visits with a speech-language or occupational therapist who uses flashcards and other paper-based exercises.
Constant Therapy is leveraging mobile technology to provide continuous and personalized therapy to people with cognitive, language, communication and learning disorders. Available for the iPad, its platform combines a data analytics platform with therapy content developed over a period of 15 years at Boston University.
Rather than going into a clinic each week, patients can download the app and perform their exercises at home after an initial assessment. It’s designed specifically for patients with brain injuries and disorders and includes hundreds of exercises that can make up customized plans for patients. “It talks to you, it’s got iconic references, and we knew what to do because we have that research from BU,” Anantha said as he demoed the app to MedCity News.
On the other side of the equation, clinicians can monitor patients’ progress through a data analytics dashboard of their own.
Anantha said the platform is already being used at Massachusetts General Hospital Spalding Rehabilitation Network and is being tested in a 50-patient clinical study that’s set to wrap up in July. In the meantime, the company is also running a private beta with select individuals.
It officially launched just four months ago, but expects to make the app publicly available in the second or third quarter of the year. Anantha said he’s self-funding the startup with the help of a grant, and is currently looking for outside funding.
“We talk about how healthcare needs to be more outcome-driven and patient-controlled,” Anantha said. “That’s exactly what this is.”