Analyst Report: Upgrade for access Immergo Labs Makes Physical Therapy Less of a Pain in the Schedule
Immergo Labs will let patients undergo physical therapy remotely in a virtual reality setting. But it has some obstacles to navigate.
- Company: Immergo Labs on StartEngine 2022
- Security Type: Equity - Common
- Valuation: $19,478,258
- Min Investment: $199
- Platform: StartEngine
- Deadline: Jan 20, 2023
Physical Therapy in the Comfort of Your Home
My friend, who’s an experienced skier, kicked off last year’s season at Lake Tahoe. The first day went smoothly, and he was exhilarated as usual. But on the second day, he made a huge mistake. He jumped, landed on the wrong foot, and tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The next thing he knew, the skiing season was over for him and he needed to get ACL reconstruction surgery. But the surgery was only the start of his long journey of healing. The aftermath impacted his daily activities for six months, and he had to go through physical therapy (PT).
It was my first time seeing how taxing PT sessions can be. For half a year, he had two sessions per week, and each session lasted for one hour. He also had to do at-home exercises in order to build back strength. I remember my friend expressing exhaustion from taking a 30-minute trip to and from his sessions on top of balancing his work and daily life.
PT is an extremely popular and beneficial form of treatment — 300 million sessions are performed annually in the US alone — but my friend’s complaint is pretty common. Sometimes, a patient’s commute takes up more time than the actual session. But since PT needs to be done in person, investing part of the day into traveling becomes inevitable.
However, Immergo Labs is working to change that. It is building a digital platform where therapists and patients can meet remotely and hold PT sessions in virtual reality (VR), represented by avatars. In this VR world, therapists can monitor patients’ motor functions and mobility by measuring their range of motions in real time. The platform also utilizes artificial intelligence to track and predict joint movements. Eventually, it will automatically document a patient’s progress — saving therapists time and helping them plan their exercise programs better.
I love that Immergo Labs injects a huge dose of optionality into the industry. As potentially disruptive as the technology is, it is not intended to replace conventional PT sessions. A virtual session does some things better (monitoring progress with greater accuracy) and some things worse (muscle manipulation and access to equipment) than in-person sessions. Therapists will decide along with their patients which sessions can be done virtually or in-person.
For now, both the patient and the therapist have to buy their own VR headsets. Or the clinic can opt to buy headsets for both its therapists and its patients. But at some point in the future, Immergo Labs plans to loan them.
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