VR rehabilitation startup project

Between September 2019 and August 2022 I was involved and driving Aalto University Virtual Reality (VR) for motor function rehabilitation startup project. Project was heavily impacted by the covid-19 pandemic limitations and was eventually closed. We got huge amount of things done and the whole project was a huge learning experience.

Wood chopping VR Exergame, VR Glove and custom garment developed in Vireamed.fi -project

Vireamed vision was to develop Virtual Reality (VR) rehabilitation solution for motor function rehabilitation. Our leading use case was stroke patient rehabilitation. During the project we built:

  • Stroke patient tailored VR exergames
  • VR based metric tests to analyze patient motor function status
  • Digital body model to record and replay patient movements
  • Patented, unique VR glove and custom garment for accurate finger/upper body position tracking
  • Cloud based care platform for remote management, rehabilitation planning and results collection

Learnings from the experience:

  • Regulated medical device development requires a lot of special knowledge and effort. I knew it would not be easy, but it was still a surprise.
  • Development should be done iteratively by trying to validate assumptions with early proof of concepts.
  • Academic environment has a tendency to find and focus on questions that are very focused and unique, but which might not always have a short term practical application.

During the project, I gained experience for example from the following: startup project leading and management, customer value analysis, strategy and roadmap creation, project management, pitching and investor discussions, procurement, legal frameworks, medical regulation, user studies and clinical trialing, patient data security and ethical approval, VR technology, eTextile design and manufacturing, cloud platforms, architecture creation, intellectual property management, visual brand identity creation and communication, video and graphical editing, web page design. This all adds up to my “business, management and technology competence toolbox”.

If you would like to hear more, please do not hesitate to contact.

Timo Siponen, September 2022