How this startup is using machine learning in physical rehabilitation

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4 min readMar 29, 2019

Creative Content Creator Evelina Kaganovitch, who often works with startups to share their stories, profiles how Racoon Recovery is using machine learning in physical rehabilitation.

The effects of Machine Learning (ML) across the Digital Health Industry is undeniable. Smart Technologies are taking over the digital health space and many companies and startups are using to create innovative solutions for existing problems. Meet one startup that is using Machine Learning in digital-game-rehabilitation. Raccoon.Recovery has developed software using Machine Learning Technology to create a mistake-proof and goal-oriented treatment course for patients requiring physical rehabilitation. Raccoon.Recovery is using a fun and engaging video game interface to empower and support patients in their physical rehabilitation recovery journey.

How is ML being used to change lives?

Raccoon.Recovery is the very first to collect, unify and analyze Big ‘Rehab’ Data. The startup has developed a method to translate any used rehabilitation examination test into the International Classification of Functioning by the World Health Organisation. Based on information about people with similar conditions, Machine Learning algorithms help specialists in physical rehabilitation to create mistake-proof treatment courses and forecast the estimated longevity of the treatment. Raccoon.Recovery instantly warns patients and therapists if something goes wrong and suggests treatment plan corrections and improvements.

What is the pain point? Every year 15 million people globally including 1.6 million people in the European Union (EU) have a stroke. In the EU 8.8 million people alone have hand traumas, either after an accident or due to a neurological disease. Based on Raccoon.Recovery’s personal research from interviewing 300 patients, 38 physiotherapists and two Insurance companies (AOK and TK) found that only 3 out of 10 people completely finish rehabilitation. This is a loss of €13.9 billion of potential annual revenue. The current treatment system is usually described by patients as ‘ineffective’, ‘uncontrolled’ and ‘boring’. In the traditional system, the patient is first referred to a rehabilitation specialist. The waiting times for these appointments are long and the specialists themselves are overworked and overbooked. This means that the therapist is unable to provide the highest quality of care, making it difficult to monitor and modify progress based on the patient’s individual results. The current rehab system is not entirely supportive of a patient’s recovery journey either. However, Raccoon.Recovery is about to change that. The soon-to-be Berlin-based startup has found a way to ease the pain and help patients recover faster and more effectively. Raccoon.Recovery believes that every patient should be provided with the best treatment tools to help them regain physical function and psycho-emotional condition.

How does Raccoon.Recovery work?

The first step is for the patient and rehab specialist to develop SMART action-oriented goals to create a treatment course. The rehabilitologist is then able to choose a test from a list of 50 most used tests worldwide or use the ICF to test the patient’s condition. During the examination of the patient’s condition, goniometry tests are carried out with the help of the controller. Raccoon.Recovery has also created additional sensors for the joints and developed test games. Recovery goals are then set and then Machine Learning is used to help build mistake-proof courses for the patients. The patient is then on their way towards physical recovery while playing digital games. The physiotherapist and patient are able to monitor the progress in real-time and treatment courses can be corrected without direct contact by the patient and specialist.

The team behind Raccoon.Recovery

The team used to manufacture controllers for video games and VR/AR. CEO and co-founder Svitlana Malovana says that soon after discovering that “customers had used these controllers after [sustaining] injuries or [having] strokes” to help them recover and regain the function they turned their attention to helping these customers. Malovana has an impressive background ranging from legal service, to innovative businesses and is also an alumnus of numerous business programs. Co-founder Alex Radovichenko is a software developer, skilled manager and an alumnus of YC School. Third co-founder Vitaliy Tolkachov has seven years of software and hardware development experience and Anna Bezrodna specializes in customer development and promoting IT solutions. They are supported by a team of practicing physiotherapists, who provide valuable insights into this disruptive technology.

What does Raccoon.Recovery look like today, and where will it be in 2020?

Raccoon.Recovery will enter the German market this year with an entry model of the product. Machine Learning will be trained and trials for the advanced model will be done. It is currently being tested at INNOVO Rehabilitation Centre in Ukraine and in several centers in Germany and has more commitments confirmed. Dr. Constantin von Stechow, Managing Director at Clinic Wartenberg’s (Germany) says that: “Raccoon.Recovery uses very innovative tools that could change methods in [the] rehabilitation sector”. After Germany Raccoon will enter Austria and Great Britain, and then scale to more European countries and the USA.

The Solution has already received praise from researches of Max-Plank Institute and Charite University in Berlin as well as by leading insurance companies like AOK and TK who are interested in faster and more effective treatment. The team has already got funding from the EU program Horizon 2020, Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berlin and an Angel Investor. Raccoon has won to become a member of outstanding startup acceleration and incubation programs like Crowd Inc (Ukraine), SABIT (USA) and Startupbootcamp (Germany). Now the company is searching for additional funding to bring the product to the market faster, and for academic partners to conduct trials.

Raccoon.Recovery provides high quality and engaging treatment plan, it saves doctors time, increases revenue for rehab centers and is easy to integrate into the hospital system. It combine the best of Machine Learning to offer a holistic rehabilitation solution that considers the patient’s physical function and emotional wellbeing during the complete recovery process.

Originally published at on March 29, 2019.



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