New next generation device improves the well-being of people affected by swallowing disorders and dysphagia
The Mobili-T® system was brought to market by a health company, True Angle, an award-winning startup that just raised an oversubscribed $1.64M investment round backed by investment firms such as Accelerate Fund, Thin Air Labs, The 51 and others.
Each year, approximately one in six adults experience a swallowing problem in the United States. And for 20% of people over 50, this is a regular and terrifying experience. Dysphagia, the medical term for swallowing difficulties, is also very common for people with stroke, head and neck cancer, Parkinson’s and dementia.
What does it feel like to have dysphagia? To get an idea of the challenges facing those with the disorder, try looking up and swallowing at the same time. On top of the physical complications, dysphagia often leads to depression, social avoidance, and a substantially worsened quality of life.
One of the ways to ease dysphagia is through a special program of swallowing exercises that target the tongue and throat muscles . Current solutions to tackle this problem include mechanical devices put in the mouth of a patient or costly in-hospital equipment.
True Angle’s innovative device, Mobili-T® addresses the gap that exists on the market: a portable, at-home next generation device that sticks under the chin during exercise and sends visual biofeedback on the patient’s progress to a mobile device of a patient and also uploads to a clinician’s web-based portal.
True Angle was founded by Dr. Jana Rieger, a professor, clinician and researcher who began development of Mobili-T® at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Dr. Gabriela Constantinescu and Mr. Dylan Scott joined her as co-founders to bring this transformative technology to the mass market.
“Our clinical experience with people with swallowing disorders showed us that coming into the clinic is costly, takes hours of their day, and involves a lot of waiting,” said Dr. Jana Rieger CEO True Angle. “We desperately wanted to give our patients a more convenient exercise option, and wanted a way for clinicians to support more positive health outcomes. So we developed a device and app that allows patients to practice their swallowing exercises anytime, and on the go.”
And patients already see the impact. Michael, one of the early customers who used Mobili-T® for his daily exercising, shares: “When I started with the product, I was drinking a cup of coffee, but it took me over 5 hours to drink it without aspirating. I just drank a cup of coffee in a half hour. Also, I am now drinking two of them a day. This is a big improvement for someone like me.”
The funds raised by True Angle will fuel the product growth, as well as invest into community awareness and innovation. If you are interested in learning more about True Angle, drop a note here.