ableX plans to raise $1.2M in capital rising to fund growth and expansion
By Rebecca Howard
July 12 (BusinessDesk) - Digital health company ableX will launch a capital raising in the week of July 31 to fund growth and expansion of its cloud-based rehabilitation system.
The company is aiming to raise $1.2 million in the capital raising being run by Snowball Effect. It will target investors in New Zealand but will also look to capture global investors. Current investors include CureKids Ventures and New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, which hold 10.9 percent and 11.8 percent respectively.
AbleX is subscription-based digital healthcare solution for conditions such as stroke, focusing on upper limb and cognitive function. The system comprises two interactive control devices – a handlebar and an arm skate - and a software-based recovery program to encourage faster neurological recovery. The system helps stroke patients regain mobility in their hands and arms. The patient uses the two control devices to play a series of therapy focused games, which are applied in a cloud-based service.
The ableX technology makes it possible to treat several people in the hospital or at home at the same time with one lead therapist. As a result, it lowers the cost of rehabilitation on the healthcare system.
In New Zealand, around 9,000 people have a stroke each year and there are around 60,000 stroke survivors. The New Zealand Stroke Education Trust estimates that approximately two-thirds of stroke survivors have partial or complete loss of movement and strength in a hand and or leg on one side of the body.
The devices and the first ableX games were developed at IRL, a Crown research institute. IRL - which is now Callaghan Innovation - spun off the ableX concept into a company founded by Sunil Vather and Geoff Todd. AbleX has received funding from Callaghan.
There are currently more than 700 ableX units in use in hospitals, clinics and patient homes. The company's immediate focus is in Australia where it has two key partners: the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Victoria and the Perron Institute in Western Australia. The new capital will allow it to work to roll out its system into existing healthcare services in Australia, it said.
The system was trailed by Royal Melbourne Hospital in 2014-15 with 92 patients and has positive results regarding arm function and strength, mobility, quality of life and overall health. Based on that success, a clinical trial with 200 patients using ableX in their homes has now been commissioned.
The Perron Institute has contracted to roll out the system to 425 patients. It was initially used for five and the strong results justified treating a further 20 for three months. After this, it will be rolled out to a further 400 patients as part of a funded health service.