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Sudbury-made stroke recovery device nets federal funding

FedNor funds will help iRegained's further development on MyHand

A Sudbury med-tech company is getting more than a half-million dollars to further develop its therapy device that helps stroke patients recover hand mobility.

On April 21, FedNor announced $528,550 for iRegained, the maker of The MyHand system, which can be used at home or in a clinic to help “rewire” a stroke survivor’s brain.

“Today’s announcement will help create 17 highly skilled jobs in Greater Sudbury and support the region’s health sciences sector,” Sudbury MP Vivian Lapointe said in a news release.

“Once this product hits the market, it will generate revenue for the company enabling it to continue to grow its team and develop additional medical devices. It will also offer much-needed hope to stroke patients.”

First conceptualized around 2013, MyHand has patients complete targetted, repetitive tasks aimed at stimulating new pathways in the brain.

The device can be programmed to administer increasingly challenging tasks as progress is made to help patients regain hand function and their independence.

Of the funding announced, $498,550 from the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation fund will help iRegained to further develop and clinically validate the device.

The remaining $30,000, from the Northern Ontario Development Program, will enable the company to hire an intern to assist with the software programming and automation required to complete late-stage product development of the firm's medical device. The intern will also help with the development of hand function rehabilitation protocols, software architecture, graphic user interface, and client validation studies.

“We are excited about the potential that our MyHand System holds not only in terms of its capacity to improve the rehabilitation success rate of stroke patients but also for the specialized jobs that it will create right here in Greater Sudbury,” said Vineet Johnson, president and CEO at iRegained, in the release.

“We are grateful for FedNor’s support that will enable us to get this product ready for market by the end of 2022.”

IRegained has previously been the recipient of $250,000 from the Sudbury Catalyst Fund, and $250,000 from NORCAT and the Northern Ontario Angels.