- Why 70% of people dont finish recovery
- Starting re.flex – physical therapy made simple
- Gathering the team members
- Winning first tech competitions
We would like to give the first “Hello!” to each and everyone of you, in the physiotherapy industry. Starting with physiotherapists, clinical owners, orthopedic doctors, Medtech companies, universities and payers. Your efforts and constant ability to care for the others in need are making the world a better place. And we would like to thank you for this.
But we think there is a lot of room to improve the space and make innovation possible. Together we are able to turn challenges into opportunities, in the most complex medical sector possible.
At re.flex our mantra is physical therapy made simple. We do this by mixing more than a century of combined experience, in the form of a multidisciplinary team based in Bucharest – aiming to unlock the full potential of the hardware technologies, mobile applications and proven business models.
We have quite a story to tell….with our CEO being in the main role as our first hero.
The story of re.flex began with a first step made by our colleague and co-founder of re.flex Camil Moldoveanu in a physiotherapy clinic in Romania. He is both an entrepreneur and a sportsman. He took both passions to a higher level, after starting his first business at 18 years old by funding an IT outsourcing company and winning many World and European championships in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
During the last world final he competed in, Camil felt like his knee broke and felt a great amount of pain. He ended up winning the match, but returned home with a painful gold medal, and with a serious musculoskeletal issue.
He received 8 weeks of physiotherapy therapy aiming to avoid the meniscus surgery.
Because of the inconvenience of traveling to the clinic, along with other factors, Camil only took 4 weeks of the physical therapy session. He quit therapy and went back on doing Brazilian jiu jitsu. For a whole 2 years he was well.
The problems got pretty bad after these 2 years. He was indeed playing hard, doing 3-4 hours of jiu jitsu almost every day of the week.He sustained another injury at the same knee. Only this time physiotherapy couldn’t help and he was 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 ended and when he could 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.
In 2016 when re.flex started, home recovery was far from being considered a safe environment for patients with musculoskeletal conditions. 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. Let’s say you do a live video session. There is limited feedback from the therapist’s side, but his time investment is bigger than the clinic, where he usually monitors 3-4 patients at the same time. This is why an 1-on-1 online session with a physiotherapist should value more than an in-clinical visit.
70% of the people don’t finish recovery
Like the story of Camil, many people are getting caught up in some sort of musculoskeletal pain during their life.
The numbers show that 70% of the people don’t finish recovery. 50% of them get injured again in 2-3 years, at the same joint and of those, another 50% end up having surgery. This means 17 surgeries out of every 100 patients that give up on physiotherapy too early.
Here is how our journey 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 and in a more convenient way. So this is how the re.flex sensors were born. Andrei and Camil were into wearables for a few years before. In 2015, they were launching Jaboo and learned a lot from creating a unique smart wristband used in Boxing and MMA, which was meant to improve the technique.
Andrei is re.flex’s hardware and software engineer. He is a very passionate individual and everybody in our office knows he is always working on achieving something big.
He wrote from scratch the complex movement algorithms of the re.flex sensors, which ended up being able back in 2019 at the Charite University Hospital laboratory to record the human motion with an average of 4% difference compared with the Gold Standard, the VICON video sensors.
In 2022 Andrei saw great opportunities to further extend the boundaries and found means to improve patient’s recovery.
He was also engaged in his rehabilitation at home using the sensors, after a ski injury which lead to surgery.
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.
re.flex’s first prototype for the knee & hip was part of the many local startup competition and pre-acceleration programs for tech startups winning notable prizes in Europe, in the area of innovation in medical technology. Meeting with amb Holding, a large Austrian company, market an important milestone as we received the first valuation, though an angel investment.
After getting feedback for the prototype, in 2018 we’ve met with Dr. Tobias Winkler. He is a very skilled and passionate orthopedic doctor. Working at the Charite hospital in Berlin he was able to publish many papers as a researcher in musculoskeletal department. He is also head of Advanced Musculoskeletal Therapies and he was part of many projects related to orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation, for knee, hip and many more.
Dr. Winkler liked the idea of mixing hardware technologies in the form of two motion tracking sensors and mobile applications. The opportunity to implement standardized protocol gives the surgeon a better view over his long term medical outcomes.
Listen to Dr. Tobias Winkler – re.flex medical advisor is the head of the Advanced Musculoskeletal Therapies department in Charite University Hospital in Berlin.
Our first team had Andrei Vig as an iOS developer, Oana Joita as embbed software deloper, Alex Ivan as protocol developer and physiotherapy assistance, Daniel Ciuta as a marketing and sales rep. Later in time we’ve met with Cedric Quintes, which took the product manager role. Marian Stanciulica joined as an iOS developer, followed by Laurentiu Ile also for iOS development and Alexandra Daraban as Android developer.
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