We would like to say Hello! to everyone in the physiotherapy industry, from physiotherapists to clinic owners and patients. We are ReFlex, a startup based in Bucharest (Romania) and we managed to create a smart assistant for physiotherapists, a device that can change the way we see the rehabilitation.
The story of ReFlex began with a first step made by Camil Moldoveanu (Multiple European & World champion in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Jiu Jitsu) in a physiotherapy clinic in Romania, shortly after becoming a European champion in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. His knee injury put him through an 8-week rehabilitation process. Our colleague only completed half of the rehab prescribed to him by the recovery doctor. He felt his knee was strong enough to step back on the mats, and for 2 years he was right.
Camil (CEO of ReFlex) doing physiotherapy to recover his knee
The problems got pretty bad after those 2 years!
He sustained another injury at the same knee. Only this time physiotherapy couldn’t help and he is now scheduled for surgery.
Thinking back on those mistakes he made and searching for reasons why he didn’t complete his rehab, Camil found some interesting conclusions which led him to a wonderful idea.
One of the reasons for quitting the rehab was the poor communication he established with the physiotherapist and the absence of a precise progress tracker. Another important reason was that he didn’t fully understand when the rehabilitation process ends and when could he return to the mats.
Going further with those issues, he found out that the average recovery process lasts around 3 months and most patients feel they can complete those exercises from home after one month.
The home recovery is still far from being a safe zone for patients, as the physiotherapy clinic is. Working out from home means that you get a simple set of exercises in order to prevent pain in the injured joint. You don’t get any feedback from your physiotherapist and he can’t monitor your progress.
70% of the people don’t finish recovery
The statistics behind this behavior showed that 70% of the people don’t finish recovery. 50% of them get injured again in 2-3 years, in the same joint and from those, another 50% end up in surgery. This means 17 surgeries out of every 100 patients that give up the physiotherapy procedures too early.
This is how it all started
Talking about these facts with his friend and business partner Andrei Kluger (CTO), Camil had the idea to create a device that can help patients recover faster. So this is how ReFlex came to life. Andrei and Camil were already into wearables. In 2015, they became partners in Jaboo (http://www.jaboo.io/) and shared the experience of creating a smart wristband used in Boxing and MMA that was meant to improve the technique.
Jaboo was a runner up at Startup Spotlight (How to Web Conference 2015)
Andrei is our hardware and software engineer and everybody out here knows that he is the brain behind all the complex algorithms needed by ReFlex. With the experience he gained while developing sensor monitored networks and bomb detection robots for the army and the government, Andrei used two small wearable sensors attached to a set of elastic bands that can track, monitor and analyze the movements of the hands, legs, back and shoulders. He later put together all the important data recorded and created a mobile app that provides real time feedback and a web platform which connects the physiotherapist with the patients.
Andrei Kluger (left) and Camil Moldoveanu (right), talking with a startup advisor at the Microsoft Accelerators Bootcamp
~1 million dollars at the first evaluation
This ambitious project was part of the MVP Academy 2016, a pre-acceleration program for tech startups. We were selected from more than 200 teams and the amount of experience gained helped us a lot.
This tech accelerator opened the opportunity of speaking with amb Holding, an Austrian company, who evaluated our startup at approximately 1 million dollars.
It wasn’t enough to have smart features in order to develop a product for physiotherapy clinics that will be used by patients as well. It needed to look good and patients to feel comfortable wearing it. So we talked with Irina Alexandru (foto) and proposed her to join our team.
Another important part of the designing team is the UX design (User experience design), where Tatiana Carp is going all in with all her knowledge and experience.
The iOS development will meet Andrei Vig, who is a co-founder of a successful location tracking gadget called Tintag.
The embedded software developer role was assigned based on skill and passion to Oana Joita. She developed software solutions for many years now and she had the sensors know-how after an interesting project implemented in the oil industry. She studied in Belgium and for her bachelor diploma, she implemented an effective technology for controlling the industrial processes.
One of our physiotherapy advisors is Alin Popescu, head of sports medicine within the biggest private healthcare operator in Romania. He is also the Physiotherapist and Medical Manager at the Romanian Rugby Federation.
The content of the blog and social media are in the hands of a sports journalist, Daniel Ciuta. He was part of the team that, back in 2007, launched www.sport.ro, the biggest website in Romania and he is a BJJ practitioner too (peaceful guy).
In the following blog posts, we will talk about the struggles we found out after talking with dozens of physiotherapy clinics, physiotherapists and patients and how we plan to solve with ReFlex most of the common problems.
You will hear from us soon!