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We build hope for healthier lives as we provide opportunities for rehabilitation through technological innovation.
“We develop solutions for patients who are typically old, sick, depressed and unmotivated. It is a tough job convincing them that things can improve. Keeping them motivated through gamification elements and an easy user interface is, therefore, an essential part of our development.”
– Hoyoung Ban in an interview for the Financial Times
Neofect was founded in June 2010 by Hoyoung Ban and Scott Kim, two students from the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business, and Young Choi, MS, Ph.D. of the University of Southern California, who majored in stroke rehabilitation algorithm and robotics.
Neofect’s first rehabilitation product, the Smart Glove, launched in December 2014 and was sold to hospitals in South Korea and the U.S. The Neofect Smart Glove was FDA registered in 2014, and has been approved for use in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs system so patients can receive reimbursement for at-home therapy.
Neofect, which debuted as a public company in Korea in November 2018, has offices in South Korea, the U.S., and Germany. Its devices are sold in South Korea, the U.S., and all over Europe.
Neofect’s suite of rehabilitation solutions have been proven effective in multiple studies. It began in 2016 when Neofect participated in a study conducted by the National Rehabilitation Center in Korea to evaluate the impact of virtual reality-based exercises on a rehabilitation program for stroke patients. The study found VR-based rehabilitation combined with standard occupational therapy is more effective than traditional therapy alone for greater upper extremity function.
Most recently, in 2019, the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation (JNER) proved the Neofect Smart Board helped patients improve active range of motion more than traditional therapy alone. And in 2018 at the 40th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, research demonstrating the effectiveness of the Smart Board for upper limb therapy in stroke survivors was presented. The results also show using the Neofect Smart Board along with traditional rehabilitation treatment significantly improves recovery, rather than simply using traditional methods alone.
Additionally, research conducted by Stanford and published in JNER proved the Neofect Smart Glove combined with traditional therapy is ideal for stroke survivors’ rehabilitation at home. Furthermore, patient adherence increases with the use of the Neofect Smart Glove due to higher satisfaction.
Yet another study published by Stanford in the American Academy of Neurology in 2018 tested the feasibility using the glove for unsupervised home therapy. The data shows patients using the Neofect Smart Glove for home therapy are highly satisfied, and in most cases, compliant.
Beyond the Neofect Smart Board and Neofect Smart Glove, Neofect Cognition was also utilized for research published in Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation (JNER). The study, which focused on the brain’s plasticity after an injury using cognitive rehabilitation, concludes Neofect Cognition’s technology-based treatment helps improve attention-based task performance.
Along with the cognitive research published in JNER, the Journal of Physical Therapy Science tested the effects of computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation (Neofect Cognition) on Alzheimer’s dementia patients and their recall memory. The study concluded patients experienced significant increases in their memory, both spatial and sequential, as well as language recognition.
- CES 2020 Innovation Award Honoree
- MedTech Breakthrough Awards 2019, Best New Technology Solution – Therapeutic
- San Francisco Design Week Awards 2019, Honorable Mention in VirtualTech
- Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Best Practices Awards 2018, Global Smart Rehabilitation Enabling Technology Leadership Award
- San Francisco Design Week Awards 2018, Honorable Mention in VirtualTech
- MedTech Breakthrough Awards 2018, Innovation in Healthcare Wearables Award
- Blackwood Design Awards 2018, Best New Aids and Equipment
- CES 2018 Innovation Award
- CES 2017 Innovation Award
- AARP 2017 Innovation Champion Award
- Popular Science Best of What’s New Award 2017
Neofect’s solutions helps stroke survivors and people with spinal cord injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, or neurological conditions regain independence and live fuller, more active lives. Its game-based Smart Rehabilitation Solution series delivers more engaging, quantifiable therapy to improve cognitive, hand, and upper arm function, while the NeoMano, a robotic orthosis, creates an artificial grip to increase hand mobility.
Individual rehabilitation solutions include:
- Smart Glove
- Smart Board
- Smart Pegboard
- Smart Kids
- Smart Balance
- Neofect Connect app
Hoyoung Ban, Co-founder and CEO
Ban was inspired to create Neofect after losing his father to stroke, and experiencing firsthand the obstacles both patients and families face during rehabilitation when his two uncles also fell victim to stroke. Prior to launching Neofect, Ban worked at Samsung Electronics, an investment trust, and co-founded an IPTV company. He graduated from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and has an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia.