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Rehabilitation Hub: The World’s first Digital Recovery Therapy solution

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - ReHub (Rehabilitation Hub: The World’s first Digital Recovery Therapy solution)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2020-04-01 al 2021-02-28

Over 100M people across Europe suffer from chronic musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) such as rheumatoid arthritis, neck, lumbar and shoulder pain. Most affected is Europe’s working-age population where such pain is the single biggest cause of temporary disability (TD), responsible for healthcare costs of up to 2% of Europe’s GDP. Rehabilitation programmes today rely entirely on manual assessment tools with no objective evidence pre- and post-treatment. Programmes are highly dependent on specialised and costly human resources, which severely limits both access to and effectiveness of rehabilitation therapy. A staggering 75% of the total EU healthcare budget –around 700 B € annually–is used in patients with chronic conditions. By 2050, more than 35% of Europe’s population will be over 60, and 8 out of 10 people over 65 will suffer from chronic diseases and need rehabilitation. DyCare will bring to market the DyCare® ReHub platform – the first Digital Recovery Therapy solution that delivers effective, personalised home rehabilitation for MSD sufferers. An end-to-end solution built on solid medical evidence, ReHub offers the patient a novel tele-rehabilitation platform that guides them through each exercise and empowers them with real-time visual biofeedback.
During the first year of the project, the DyCare team together with the advisory board experts and external collaborations, worked to meet all the milestones and have a final version of ReHub for the clinical studies. User experience and algorithms have been updated according to the feedback collected during the validations phases in collaborating centres and experts of the sector. On the other hand, new versions of the sensor and the Exercise Kit have been designed, prototyped, tested, certified and finalized as a reference document for manufacturing plan and industrialisation. For the clinical studies, together with the CRO, the principal investigators of the hospital teams and the DyCare team, study protocols for two pathologies of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and total hip arthroplasty (THA) have been developed and approved by Ethics Committees.
In DyCare, we have put a lot of effort into dissemination and communication tasks as it is crucial to reach out to an increased number of interesting audiences, inform and reach out to the sector demonstrating the benefits of our digital health solution and open the (new) markets for our products. Some of the realised activities are branding, designing a new interactive website, a specific logo for the solution, publishing newsletters, flyers, posters, active presence/participation in the important fair trades, congresses, workshops and social media such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. DyCare’s business development team with the leadership of the CEO approached the key opinion leaders, policymakers, health sector main players, clinicians, specialists and other related professionals to disseminate the project and raise interests in our product. Through these activities, we have been able to secure various collaboration agreements with different entities for running demos, clinical sessions, pilot projects and other forms of collaboration. Among these entities, there are research centres, hospitals, insurance companies, sport study centres and sports clubs.
Given the importance of the protection of intellectual property (IP) and patents for SMEs, DyCare has dedicated a significant effort to IP. In particular, a Patent Cooperation Treaty application and a Utility Model have been submitted.
In the second reporting period, the main focus of the activities was on the clinical studies as the protocols have been approved by the ethical committees of both hospitals and started the recruitment and implementation of the protocol. Technical and management support has been provided to the CRO and hospitals to tackle the possible problems or burdens and make the studies running smoothly. Meanwhile, we have also worked on improvements, optimization and troubleshooting of different pillars of ReHub including algorithms, front and backend, hardware, firmware, etc. We have also continued with our dissemination activities and scientific publications to spread the word and impacts of ReHub among the community and target markets. From the IPR point of view, we have filed patent applications in EPO and USPTO as a part of our PCT nationalisation phase procedure.
The last Reporting Period of the project implementation period coincided with the COVID19 Pandemic. ReHub project like many other projects and companies worldwide has been affected by the consequences of this Pandemic, the clinical studies among the most affected parts of the project. The patient recruitment process of the studies has stopped due to the lockdowns in Spain and Italy and progressed slowly after that. However, the Pandemic has propelled the rapid adoption of technology to deliver patient care while practising physical distancing. The special pandemic situation has helped identify the weaknesses in the healthcare system’s response and offer continuous outpatient rehabilitation to avoid infections while the epidemic lasts. In the case of rehabilitation, while preventing community transmission of the Coronavirus infection, social distancing measures have represented a barrier for rehabilitation, commonly performed face-to-face, and put a strain on rehabilitation services. As a result of the urgent demands of the sector, we have finalized various agreements such as with DKV España (one of the biggest health insurance companies in Spain, >1400 affiliated centres), with 4 important hospitals in Spain, Vital&Clinic in Spain, Top Fisio Clinic in Rome- Italy, STAH: Swiss Therapy At Home, in Switzerland -among others- to implement ReHub in their rehabilitation services.
Our innovation solves the main problems of the patients and rehabilitation professionals through 3 novel components:
DyTrack Sensor: our patented movement and strength sensor allows the clinical specialist to perform a true and complete evaluation of the joint, facilitates the physiotherapy, for the first time, by offering the possibility of proposing strength exercises in order to strengthen the joint, gain muscle mass, etc.
Exercise Kit: the patients can use the Kit to perform their prescribed exercises at home without struggling with the positioning of the sensors or other technical issues. By integrating DyTrack sensor in the Kit, simple plastic-based pieces have become smart elements that help the patients in their recovery. Over 100 different exercises can be performed with these two tools, allowing the patient to improve specific muscle regions.
ReHub Cloud Platform: embodies an intelligent system of treatment protocols; enables the physiotherapists to design a customised rehabilitation programme, guides the patients through each exercise and connects the patients with their specialists in real-time.
The project’s result is a groundbreaking technological solution providing easy access to quality, affordable rehabilitation services, empowering the elderly people in maintaining an active lifestyle, decreasing the social and economic impacts of musculoskeletal disorders on the working-age population. It will also empower the professionals with intelligent assessment and advanced remote follow-up tool.
ReHub tele-rehabilitation solution