Switzerland-based MindMaze announced yesterday its acquisition of fellow neuro-rehabilitation tech company Neuro Motor Innovations Corporation (NMI) for an undisclosed sum.
According to the announcement, MindMaze will acquire a perpetual license to NMI’s rehabilitation technology and pick up NMI cofounder Dr. John Krakauer as its now chief medical and chief scientific advisor. Krakauer and colleagues founded the company as a spinout of Johns Hopkins University, and still hold a “close relationship” with the school that MindMaze said it is hoping to maintain.
MindMaze said in the announcement that it plans to continue work on NMI’s technology, which includes an artificial intelligence-powered video game that stroke patients control through controlled motor functions. The offering is designed to treat neurological diseases and injuries both acute and chronic, although the company also notes its cognitive benefits for aging people who are otherwise healthy.
MindMaze’s own technology also looks to promote motor and cognitive capabilities through gamified rehabilitation, and does so through the use of a motion capture technology based on the Microsoft Kinect. The company is supported by $109 million raised from global investors.
What’s the impact
As the US population continues to age, a greater number of people are becoming at risk for stroke, dementia and other neurological conditions or events. Through this acquisition, MindMaze strengthens its catalogue of treatments with new complementary offerings, and wins itself a new relationship with one of the countries leading academic research centers to boot.
“It has long been known in the scientific community that enrichment — stimulating the brain by enhancing the physical and social environment — is important for neurological recovery in animal models, but there is no such equivalent in clinical settings for humans,” Krakauer said in a statement. “Our vision is to design a new platform that creates an immersive and enriching environment that integrates with existing MindMaze technology to deliver effective movement and cognitive therapy for many neurological diseases and injuries. The goal is to build a universal platform that can accelerate brain repair.”
What’s the trend
For years now, neurocognitive rehabilitation has been pegged as an opportunity for health technology researchers and entrepreneurs alike. For instance, a handful of virtual reality offerings have looked to reforge the pathways between the brain and the body, and join robotic arms, wearable sensor patches and other technologies hoping to aid in rehabilitation.
On the record
“This acquisition of the Neuro Motor Innovations technology and the team is a very significant deal for MindMaze and one that offers huge promise for patients with neurological diseases and injuries,” Tej Tadi, founder and CEO of MindMaze, said in a statement. “The integration of NMI’s technology into our platform creates the first multi-stage platform for neurological therapy.”