Ukrainian startup Raccoon receives 50,000 euros from Horizon 2020 for development of rehabilitation equipment

The Ukrainian startup Raccoon, a developer of virtual interaction technologies, is tackling a technological solution for rehabilitation of patients with hand injuries. To finance the new project, Raccoon received 50,000 euros from Horizon 2020, a EU program of financing science and innovations. In the past, a similar grant was issued to another Ukrainian startup, Ecoisme for its environmental solutions.

The idea of creating Raccoon.Recovery rehabilitation instrument was conceived at TechCrunch Disrupt fair, where the startup exhibited its clip for VR and video games, Raccoon.Clip.

“A boy has approached our stand. During the conversation with him, we learned that because of cerebral palsy, the boy is unable to handle regular controllers, and therefore, cannot play video games. With Raccoon.Clip, he has managed to do it for the first time. For us, it was a turning point, too. We talked to people who preordered the device, and found out that many went for it because of the form factor, as they had problems with hands after injuries, stroke, etc.,” a Raccoon representative told AIN.UA. After that, Raccoon went after med-tech.

Raccoon.Recovery will make rehabilitation more interesting by adding gamification, proposing to restore hand motility by playing favorite video games. The solution is based on machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, and consists of three components: a game controller to train hand muscles and collect data, a special CRM for hospitals, and an application for patients.

The grant will be spent on development of software necessary to implement the solution at hospitals and rehabilitation centers, and on testing hypotheses, validation and finalization of a business model and finalization of the product. Special software will be designed to meet the needs of physicians and rehabilitation specialists, helping them build comparative diagrams, provide recommendations regarding rehabilitation course, etc. The team also wants to develop iOS and Android apps for patients and their close ones to help them monitor the progress and remotely communicate with a rehabilitation specialist.

haptic telerehabilitation game-based biofeedback

Presently, the product is in the beta phase: a controller prototype and software MVP are ready, and pilots were launched at three hospitals and one rehabilitation center in Ukraine and at two rehabilitation centers in the United States. “Pilot projects help us gather feedback on the controller’s form factor and software functional to finalize the solution before launching it on the market,” a Raccoon representative explains.

In six months, Raccoon will report on the progress to a commission, and then, is going to go to the program’s second phase to get EUR 0.5-2.5 million in additional financing.

As of today, the startup’s team consists of 12 specialists, four of whom do bizdev and marketing, four are hardware and software developers, two are practicing rehabilitation specialists, one MBA business consultant and one financial consultant. So far, $280,000 in total was invested in Raccoon ($210,000 by investors and $70,000 in grants from Vernadsky Challenge, CRDF and Horizon 2020). To complete the product’s development by mid-2019, the team is looking for an additional investment of 430,000 euros.

The original article was published on AIN.UA