iHandU: Revolutionizing Neuromuscular Disorder Management with Wearable Technology

Laura Diez

Startup Stories

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare technology, iHandU emerges as a groundbreaking solution poised to transform the way we assess and manage neuromuscular disorders. Imagine a wearable device that not only monitors motor symptoms like bradykinesia, tremors, and gait but also, for the first time, quantifies rigidity in patients with conditions such as Parkinson's Disease. Developed and rigorously tested, iHandU represents a pivotal advancement in the field, offering clinicians accurate and comprehensive patient data in real-time through a seamlessly connected app and web dashboard.

But what drove the inception of this innovative venture, and how does iHandU plan to revolutionize the healthcare industry? In this interview with Sara Reis from InSignals Neurotech, we explore the motivations behind the creation of iHandU and its vision for the future. Join us on this journey as we uncover the profound impact iHandU is making in the realm of neuromuscular disorder management.

How would you explain your solution in three sentences to a professional colleague from the health sector?

"Tested in over 120 patients achieving an accuracy of over 80%, iHandU is a patented solution for the management of neuromuscular disorders, that connects with an App and a web dashboard. It allows clinicians to receive accurate and complete data from patients."

What problem motivated you to start the company?

"The problem that motivated us to start inSignals was the feedback received from numerous neurologists. They expressed their concerns about the absence of an objective mechanism to accurately classify rigidity in patients with Parkinson's Disease (PD) and with other neuromuscular disorders. Recognizing this gap, we were inspired to develop a solution that addresses this critical assessment that, today, relies solely on experts' subjective perceptions, lacking a quantifiable tool. The subjective nature of this method introduces variability in assessments and hinders the availability of extensive and accurate patient data to finetune therapeutics and address motor symptom complications."

How do you convince a pharmaceutical company, a health insurance company or another potential client to set up a pilot project with you?

"iHandU is a compact and adaptable wearable device that can be placed in several body parts to collect movement data. We integrated a set of tests to monitor symptoms such as bradykinesia, tremors, gait, and for the first time rigidity - a breakthrough feature never provided effectively before. Within seconds, the App receives and displays real-time data on these symptoms. This information together with medication intake can be sent to a doctor's portal, with symptom assessment scores of tests performed on the clinical facilities or at the patient’s home. The data can be shared to a web dashboard to represent the raw data collected from iHandU. 
The collection of accurate and comprehensive information on patients' symptoms is crucial when they are undergoing new medications or therapies that require finetuning for optimal outcomes. iHandU's ability to monitor various motor symptoms allows clinicians to refine prescribed dosages or settings, optimizing treatment effectiveness. The device helps identify novel markers for disease development, enabling a deeper understanding of disease progression. It serves as a compelling tool to validate the efficacy of medications under investigation by closely monitoring the patient's response to the treatment. Overall, iHandU technology can empower clinicians and researchers with data, leading to well-informed treatment decisions."

Who are your current customer (groups) and who do you want your potential customers to be?

"Our device was designed with neurologists in mind, tailored to include rigidity quantification and a comprehensive disease overview in patients with neuromuscular disorders. Our initial clients will be hospitals in Europe and North America. Additionally, we plan to form partnerships with the industry to support innovative pharma trials and assist in proving the efficacy of their solutions. This will further broaden our reach and impact in the medical field. Hospitals across Europe have already provided letters of interest indicating their interest in our solution."

Where do you see yourself in 3 years and how can 5-HT support you?

"Within the next 3 years, our goal is to achieve medical device certification and successfully enter the market with iHandU. Germany is a major market and is leading the way in digital care, implementing a progressive framework that embraces digital healthcare solutions. By partnering with hubs like 5-HT in Germany, which unites key players in the European health market, we can unlock valuable opportunities and collaborations for our company."

You participated in the 5-HT X-Linker Healthtech for Pharma in March 2023. What is your impression of the event and what have you gained (so far) from participating?

Participating in the 5-HT X-Linker Healthtech for Pharma event in March proved to be an exceptional opportunity for our company to connect with prominent leaders in the health industry and key representatives from pharmaceutical companies. 
The event offered valuable validation for our technology and its relevance to the pharmaceutical sector. Engaging with these industry leaders allowed us to gain insights into how our technology could benefit pharma companies, enhancing their research and development efforts. Overall, our participation in the event not only amplified our exposure in the industry but also opened doors for exciting discussions with key players in the pharmaceutical domain.

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