Maximising neurological recovery – Rewire launches in April 2023
Rewire, an app that delivers personalised neuro-rehabilitation, launches its pilot at County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust on April 3rd 2023. Dr Raj Parmar, CEO of Rewire Rehab Ltd shares why he and Co-Founder Amy Ha started Rewire, and what they hope to achieve following their launch.
The problem of insufficient post-stroke rehabilitation became apparent while working on a Hyperacute Stroke Unit. During my time at the Yorkshire Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, I gained insight into how rehabilitation outcomes can be maximised with the aid of technology. Amy Ha made this a reality, applying her skills as a software engineer and experience developing a solution for orthopaedic patients at msk.ai.
What is Rewire?
Rewire uses a brief video-guided assessment to generate an exercise programme that takes into account an individual’s deficit. This means that stroke survivors can rehabilitate independently of a physio-/occupational therapist. Rewire also captures data on the three factors that have the biggest impact on rehabilitation outcomes: pain, mood and fatigue. This makes it easier to diagnose complications such as post-stroke depression.
Last year’s national audit revealed that stroke survivors received only 19% of the physiotherapy that they ought to have had following discharge from hospital. This translates to disability that costs the UK social care system £5 billion every year. By enabling patients to achieve (and surpass) the clinically recommended dose of therapy, Rewire aims to reduce post-stroke disability.
Progress so far
We have iteratively built Rewire with input from clinicians, stroke survivors and carers throughout its development. This includes working with the Stroke Association. Rewire was one of ten medtech startups selected for the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) Propel Accelerator programme earlier this year. We have also received £65,000 in funding from Innovate UK to evaluate useability and fulfil regulatory requirements.
Rewire empowers the stroke survivor and their support unit to actively engage in the recovery process. Through education, the app looks to mitigate the risk of stroke and heart disease for those who have witnessed a loved one suffer a life-changing neurological insult.
Next month Rewire will be piloted with stroke patients at County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust who are being discharged from inpatient services. Participants will use Rewire for 12 weeks in the community as an adjunct to any therapy being received. The primary outcome will be minutes of activity, measured in-app. Secondary outcomes include how Rewire compares to in-person therapy and acceptability to clinicians.
The Launchpad programme has helped to identify key challenges that we will face as a digital health start-up trying to solve a problem in a constrained healthcare system. Not least of all how to navigate the ever-changing procurement landscape. The mentorship was invaluable, especially since the programme navigator has built and exited an app that delivers rehabilitation for chronic conditions.
Looking to the future
Building on the pilot, Rewire aims to support community NHS services in helping to deliver clinically recommended doses of therapy. Psychological support following discharge from inpatient services is available to less than 10% of stroke survivors, another shortcoming that Rewire will address. As well as optimising post-stroke recovery, Rewire will grow to offer rehabilitation solutions for other neurological conditions.
For information or questions, please contact: Raj Parmar at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 7766 058835.
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Rewire is on cohort 5 of the DigitalHealth.London Launchpad programme.
The DigitalHealth.London Launchpad is a collaborative programme funded by two of London’s Academic Health Science Networks – UCLPartners and the Health Innovation Network – MedCity, CW+ and receives match funding from the European Regional Development Fund.