IM-Able: Firm offers hi-tech aid for stroke victims

Elliott Kernohan (left) and Sunil Vather want to take IM-Able's intelligent rehabilitation technology to the world. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Elliott Kernohan (left) and Sunil Vather want to take IM-Able's intelligent rehabilitation technology to the world. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Elliott Kernohan is on a mission.

The business consultant and chief executive-in-waiting of medical rehabilitation company IM-Able (pronounced "I am able") is looking not just for cash but for investors who have networks and/or the smarts to take IM-Able's intelligent rehabilitation technology to the world.

"Both from a commercial perspective and from a governance perspective it's very important companies that have the potential IM-Able has are nurtured and encouraged in the right way, by the right people," he says.

IM-Able was founded to commercialise specialised gaming technology developed by Crown Research Institute Industrial Research (IRL), which helps people with neurological disorders regain functions and abilities the rest of us take for granted.

Its primary focus is the huge stroke market - 7 million Americans, and a further 800,000 a year, have ongoing stroke disabilities - but its technology has applications for sufferers of dementia, Parkinson's and a host of other neurological impairments.

To date it has raised capital from its founders plus $640,000 of seed capital last year from Cure Kids Ventures (which is interested in the technology's use for children with cerebral palsy), SCIF and United States investor Qi2, which had a relationship with IM-Able's founder and current chief executive Sunhil Vather through a previous IRL investment.

"The seed capital was to gain FDA and CE approval so the product could be sold in the US and Europe," says Vather. "We've done that and that's translated into some early sales."

The company has sold 300 devices through word-of-mouth and is now seeking $1.25 million to propel its marketing to the next level. Ultimately it wants to translate its technology to a web-based system to allow clinicians to diagnose, set rehabilitation programmes and monitor large numbers of patients remotely, without the need for costly, time-consuming clinic visits.

"We're on the cusp," says Kernohan. "We're very aware of the potential ... but we've got to break it into small steps to make it achievable."

- NZ Herald

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