Our journey began with a single child called, Arshia, a 5 year old boy in Iran with Cerebral Palsy (CP). Arshia had a familiar problem for so many kids with CP.
He had a wonderful clinician, prescribing a critical home therapy program, but he struggled with the motivation to carry out the boring routines.
His Doctor knew this so he approached our Head of Tech Armin and asked him if there was anything he could do to help motivate Arshia.
So, Armin, a robotic engineer by trade, got thinking, what would motivate a 5 year old boy. Cars, he thought, boys love cars! Armin got to work. He took an off the shelf remote controlled car and he developed a fairly crude prototype that would move when Arshia performed extension/flexion of his wrist. Arshia absolutely loved it!!!
This really was the Eureka moment for the inception of Lusio, but how was it that this wonderful therapeutic breakthrough for young Arshia became the foundation for a small start-up business in Sydney Australia?
Not long after developing the remote-control car to motivate Arshia with his home therapy, Armin relocated to Australia, first moving to Adelaide before finally landing in Sydney. After some wonderful serendipity he wound up working with Justin in the world of recruitment, in the summer of 2016. Justin, at that time, was specialising in recruitment in the tech sector and was introduced to Armin by Chris, who, also in recruitment, had himself interviewed Armin for a sales role. Chris felt that Armin’s robotic engineering background meant that he had to meet Justin and, after some gentle persuasion, Armin accepted a role working with Justin as a tech adviser, vetting prospective candidates. If truth be told, when Justin first offered him the role, Armin was not at all convinced it was right for him, but the fact that his aircon wasn’t working at home, and it was so hot that day, he decided to accept a trial nonetheless. For the sake of some short-term comfort, and of course unbeknown to the key players at the time, another step was taken towards Lusio.
Suffice to say, an excellent working relationship developed, and indeed a friendship blossomed. It was only in passing one day that Armin happened to tell both Chris and Justin about his experience of gamifying physical therapy, and the charming story of Arshia back in Iran. Chris and Justin were immediately swayed by the potential for this crude remote-controlled car to help thousands of others like Arshia. Furthermore, they knew that between them, in the world of recruitment, they had a huge network of people who could help them realise this dream. With that conversation Lusio Rehab was born.
Serendipity continued to play a part through the early days of the new venture. It was a meeting with an entrepreneur, who had happened to walk past a meeting room in which Chris, Justin and Armin were discussing their next steps, that led the young Lusio Rehab to submit a presentation to the Remarkable Tech accelerator program. An incredible program, it’s Australia’s first accelerator for early-stage startups creating technology to positively impact life for people with disability.
That presentation was successful and Lusio Rehab was selected for, and completed, the Remarkable 16-week incubator, which provided a platform for constant testing and iteration of our technology, working directly with children aged 4-9 years of age living with CP. So many amazing and inspiring kids, fuelling our passion and desire to make the technology work for them, and the many others like them for who it could benefit.
As a result of this program, Lusio Rehab was also incredibly lucky to have had the support of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA), who provided the much need clinical governance in the early stages of the invention. The CPA continues today to be a champion of our technology and we are delighted that so many CPA clinicians are using LusioMATE with their clients to help motivate them to achieve their vital physical therapy goals. Alongside this wonderful support of the CPA we are proud that LusioMATE is being used by clients in Hospitals, Allied Health Groups, Physio and Occupational Therapy clinics, as well as directly with clients through the NDIS, insurance companies and Workcover.
Our story is still being told, and our journey one that will never be over. Our mission, as set out very early in our development, is to help people find freedom through movement. We believe our technology, combined with our passion and creativity, can help make physical therapy fun, accessible and measurable for both clinicians and players, wherever they are in the world.