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Innovation showcase

App provides brain rehab and training for victims of stroke and other neural conditions

Accomplished Brain’s innovative app, which runs on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, lets talented clinicians create customized brain exercise programs they can offer to clients worldwide.


By Jeff Erickson | January 2021


Search “health and fitness” in any app store and you’ll find much more than fitness trackers. You’ll find a variety of sophisticated mobile apps that show a healthcare industry working overtime to figure out how to help people treat serious symptoms and recover from a range of medical disorders.

A new mobile app, The Accomplished Brain, delivers guided activities for treating everything from head trauma to learning disabilities, but it’s also designed to help healthcare practitioners reach new clients and grow their businesses. “In order for people to get better, they need to be treated as an individual” by a skilled practitioner, says Andrew Amigo, Accomplished Brain’s visionary CEO. “That’s why we’re a B2B company,” he says, not a consumer app company.

Before using the Accomplished Brain app, patients confer in person or remotely with a medical practitioner.

Before using the Accomplished Brain app, patients confer in person or remotely with a medical practitioner. Here, CEO, Andrew Amigo consults with a client remotely.

With the app, practitioners in a wide range of disciplines—sports medicine, physical therapy, speech pathology, chiropractic, neuro-optometry, and acupuncture—can customize a brain recovery program for patients suffering from a stroke, concussion, Parkinson’s, or other neural conditions.

The app’s six programs for brain rehab and training guide clients through activities proven to improve balance, vision, and memory in 22 areas of the brain. The app, which runs on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, captures the data on a dashboard that the patient and medical practitioner can review together.

“The patient presses play, and they know there’s a purpose and a reason for everything they’re doing because it comes to them through an educated and caring professional who they know,” Amigo says.

Amigo’s vision for Accomplished Brain is to be for healthcare providers of brain rehab and brain training what the Bloomberg Terminal is for the finance world. “We want to be that hub where clinics and practitioners can scale their businesses,” he says.

Among a growing list of techniques, the app provides eye movement therapy in both 2D and virtual reality as well as an innovative virtual reality vestibular therapy. Current and soon-to-be- released features include eye tracking, balance evaluation, heart rate variability tracking, virtual reality mirror therapy, and augmented reality reaction-time training. Healthcare practitioners can combine a mix of techniques into a recovery program.

The results of each training session feed a database with more than 500 evaluation parameters, helping the practitioner and patient track progress. Because the app is designed to help practitioners deliver patient care online, it also includes a scheduling tool, messaging system, and a forum where practitioners can converse with one another.

The underlying tech

Amigo’s small research team built the app on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) after first considering Amazon Web Services.

Accomplished Brain found OCI to be 30% less expensive up front. It easily connects with popular gaming and simulation software from Unity that the company uses to build the interactive tasks in the app, says CTO Sebastian Duque, while enhancing data security, providing scalability, and facilitating the HIPPA compliance needed for such an app.

Because the underlying Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing Database—which runs on OCI—provisions, secures, upgrades, and scales itself, Duque’s team can “devote 100% of our technical resources to building and enhancing our products,” rather than managing the database, as Amazon Web Services would have required, he says. As a small company with limited funds and big ambitions, moving to Oracle was an easy decision, Duque says.

 

“With our focus on sensitive patient data, we quickly concluded that Oracle’s cloud security model offered us, our patients, and our practitioners a platform we could all trust.”

Sebastian Duque, CTO, Accomplished Brain

“With our focus on sensitive patient data, we quickly concluded that Oracle’s cloud security model offered us, our patients, and our practitioners a platform we could all trust,” he says.

Building its application on the cloud-based OCI and Oracle Autonomous Database also enables Accomplished Brain to scale to thousands of clinics, even as the company adds compute-intensive workloads such as virtual reality. And it gets easy access to powerful data analytics.

For example, for clients with concussions, Accomplished Brain can see their anonymized evaluations, the exercises they were given in the app, and how the evaluations improved over time. “Every case goes into our evaluation database, where we can look at the data and learn what really works,” Amigo says. The result, he says, is better outcomes for patients and more clients for healthcare providers.

Athletes from high school through professionals are using the Accomplished Brain app.

Athletes from high school through professionals are using the Accomplished Brain app.

The lightbulb moment

Amigo founded Accomplished Brain, which calls itself a “Neuro Exercise Company,” five years ago, looking to bring to a wider audience his 20 years of experience in holistic health and more than a decade in clinical research in functional neuroscience. Before starting the company, Amigo was exploring ways to use smartphone apps to measure breathing, heart rate, eye movement, hearing, “and things like visual motor imagery for dyslexia,” he says.

Amigo used an existing iPhone app to work with a child with special needs, and the child’s mother posted about it on a blog. “Next thing I knew I had people from Australia wanting to work with me, and boom, a light bulb went on,” Amigo says. That iPhone app literally opened a world of potential clients because he could confer with them and track their progress remotely. Soon, 70% of his business was coming from clients online.

To attract more clients, medical practitioners typically have to open office after office in a small radius, Amigo says. But now they don’t need to because with an app and video services such as Zoom, “you still have the coaching and the teaching and the compassion, but now you’ve opened up to 7 billion people,” he says.

Amigo says his five years of planning and his team’s two years of development are hitting at the right time, partly because the COVID-19 pandemic has opened people’s eyes to the possibilities of working at a distance. “Two years ago, if I told a neurosurgeon or a neurologist that I treat concussions online, they’d say: ‘Here's the door. Don’t let it hit you on the way out,’” Amigo muses. “Now if I say I treat concussions online and I have built software to do it, they say: ‘When can we do lunch?’”

Photography: MF3d/Getty Images; unsplash
Illustrations: Oracle

jeff erickson

Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson is director of tech content at Oracle. You can follow him on Twitter at @erickson4.