After hip surgery, a child strengthens her muscles by running with virtual cheetahs.
Child interacts with augmented-reality content to perform therapy exercises from home.
The KidsX consortium saw tremendous value and novelty in the pediatric-focused virtual user experience created by the Augment Therapy team.”
— Omkar Kulkarni, Chief Innovation Officer CHLA & Managing Director of KidsX
CHAGRIN FALLS, OH, UNITED STATES, September 22, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Augment Therapy closed a seed round of over $1.35 million, led by BlueTree Capital in Pittsburgh, PA. The oversubscribed round included VisionTech Angels, NextAct Fund, KidsX Investor Network, and various Midwestern angel investors, including a Cleveland-based group of female executives. The funds will be used to expand their software development, operations, research, and customer success teams.
Augment Therapy makes physical and occupational therapy engaging and fun for kids and adults alike. Therapy is often boring and monotonous, and patients, especially kids, loathe doing home exercises. And the COVID-19 pandemic only made matters worse, reducing access to physical therapy for those who needed it the most. Alarming statistics are emerging, showing that as many as 74% of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities reported losing access to at least one therapy or educational service during the pandemic.
Founded in 2017, Augment Therapy, Inc. solves this problem using telehealth and remote monitoring-enabled gaming platform for kids. This seed round enables it to expand into multiple hospitals, including University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, and provide engaging ways to keep kids active and up to date with their physical and occupational therapy.
As a remote/telehealth patient monitoring system, physical therapists can continue to treat patients even if they cannot be with them physically due to COVID protocols. The company was selected as one of thirteen companies to participate in the 13-week KidsX pediatric-focused digital health accelerator program. In addition, the company recently completed participation in MassChallenge HealthTech’s 2021 cohort and is building a pilot with their hospital partner for the program.
Augment Therapy is a full care continuum solution for the rehab setting designed to engage, motivate, and monitor kids needing therapeutic exercise in the hospital, outpatient, or home environments. Using an iPad connected to a TV, the patient is placed into an interactive world through the magic of Augmented Reality (AR). Therapists select from therapeutic exercises, games, and 3D worlds that motivate and engage kids to complete their session. Patients’ performance is monitored and tracked using depth-sensing technology on compatible iPhone or iPad devices.
All of this is well-timed in view of CMS’ recent expansion of telehealth reimbursement for physical and occupational therapists, as well as the announcement of Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) codes for the 2022 Physician Fee Schedule. “All the work in 2019 and 2020 that Lindsay and her team put in uniquely positioned them to take advantage of this opportunity to showcase the value of the Augment Therapy platform. This is truly an example of being at the right place at the right time,” says Sreekar Gadde, Executive Director of BlueTree Allied Angels.
The team has already accomplished its first large milestone of this round, expanding into a 21-room pediatric oncology and hematology unit in the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Maintaining physical and mental health through evidence-based exercise is especially important for cancer patients, as they are often limited to their rooms for days and weeks at a time while undergoing treatment. We can truly provide 24/7 access to exercise with our software while transforming the experience and setting to make exercise more fun. Who would not want to exercise on the surface of the moon or while swimming with sea turtles?” says Lindsay Watson, CEO of Augment Therapy. She elaborates that the company’s technology can and should be leveraged not just to improve access to care but to improve the experience of care for today’s children in all settings.
Additionally, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) will be testing the Augment Therapy software amongst its patients undergoing physical rehabilitation. “The past 18 months have seen the virtualization of many healthcare services. The KidsX consortium saw tremendous value and novelty in the pediatric-focused virtual user experience created by the Augment Therapy team,” shared Omkar Kulkarni, MPH, Chief Innovation Officer at CHLA and Managing Director of KidsX.
Augment Therapy was co-founded by Lindsay Watson PT, MPT, CEO, a physical therapist specializing in pediatrics for nearly 20 years, and Steve Blake, CTO and software developer of 30 years with a background in building med-tech and educational software for children.
Lindsay S Watson
Augment Therapy Inc
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September 22, 2021, 16:25 GMT
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