Memphis Startup: HandMinder Aims To Restore Hand Movement In Stroke Victims

There are some incredible startups coming out of Memphis Tennessee and HandMinder is one of them. Handminder was part of the first class at the ZeroTo510 accelerator. Zeroto510 is the first cohort based medical device accelerator and was a joint venture between Memphis BioWorks and Seed Hatchery, the local tech startup accelerator.

HandMinder was founded by Dr. Yu Liu, MD,Phd, Randall J Nelson PhD,John M Denton, Technical Advisor & CoFounder, ┬áJames Bell who currently serves as the company’s CEO.

A shocking 15 million people suffer from strokes across the globe. 12.5 million of those people survive and of those 12.5 million, 60% of them have some form of hand dysfunction after the stroke.

The devices that are currently on the market today that help rehab stroke victims’ hands deal with the problem from a total physiological perspective. The devices today allow functionality but not learned functionality. They provide localized muscular exercise but not brain function.

The HandMinder device, which fits like a glove, restores the neurological connection between the hand and the brain. The loss of hand movement in a stroke victim is a neurological problem, not just a physiological problem. By reprogramming the stroke victims brain to hand function, HandMinder closes the natural physiological loop.

Unlike other devices that address this issue, HandMinder is a take home product that allows stroke victims to rehabilitate their hands as often as they would like without having to take up extra time in their rehab clinics. It also allows them to continue their therapy while traveling, being outside and living somewhat normal lives.

When designing the HandMinder product, the team at HandMinder talked with stroke victims and their families. Because strokes are more prevalent in older patients, Handminder even talked with grandparents and grandchildren who were concerned with the way some of the medical devices looked. A lot of other devices used for this purpose, seemed somewhat scary to grandchildren which was a real concern for older patients. Handminder, while still a medical device, “looks cool”.

HandMinder presented at the ZeroTo510 demo day last month to a crowd of investors. They are currently working on their third prototype and plan to start field testing the device shortly.


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