Switzerland-based MindMaze created news early 2016 when it raisedÂ a $100 million round of funding at a pre-money valuation of a Billion dollars. It is creating virtual reality products related to neural recovery.
The medical-gradeÂ product (!imaginatively called MindMotionPRO) embodies the usual inpatient medical device: a set of CPUs and monitors attached to a metal framework on wheels. It has optical motion sensors (like Microsoft Kinect) that recognize patient movements, along with sensors to record physiological signals like EEG.
The application is amazing: usingÂ immersive virtual reality onÂ half-paralyzed (hemiparetic) patients to trick their brains into jumpstarting control of the paralyzed half. This ‘mirror therapy’ was proposed in 1990s, and modern VR tech is a perfect match for it.
MindMaze has been approved by regulators (CE Mark) in Europe, which is a big deal. Whether that justifies a unicorn status is no longer a question in my mind, mostly becauseÂ the reality-distortion of unabashed venture capital investment is now a given in most new corners of tech. Who knows what the actual $ business potential is. Looking at the immense spread of what VR can do in healthcare (surgeon training, mental health, patient education, etc.), a solid-start means a good chance of survival.