A new device aiming to help support stroke survivors through their rehabilitation has won the first Inventor Prize and has been awarded £50,000 to help bring the product to market.

Launched in August 2017 as a pilot run by innovation foundation Nesta and funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Inventor Prize was set up to support inventors to develop innovations that can help people in the UK.

Neurofenix, a company founded by Guillem Singla Buxarrais and Dimitris Athanasiou, and its Neuroball rehabilitation device was selected out of 10 shortlisted finalists after pitching the invention to a judging panel of experts.

The Neuroball allows stroke survivors to perform exercises to help improve hand dexterity and connects to a tablet application, allowing the user to play games whilst undergoing rehabilitation to make the process more engaging.

Having experienced the devastating impact strokes can have after both Guillem and Dimitris had family members suffer strokes, the pair were inspired to create the Neuroball, working with stroke survivors, their families and physiotherapists.

CEO and Co-founder Guillem Singla Buxarrais, commented: “There are over 1 million stroke survivors in the UK and 100,000 Brits have a stroke every year. 77 per cent of people lose control of their hand and arm after a stroke and most feel completely abandoned at home (Stroke Association, 2016). The Neuroball will transform rehabilitation from a lonely, expensive experience to a fun and social journey to recovery.”

In addition to Neurofenix winning the overall award, Inventor Prize finalist UroLogic was awarded the first Recognition Award, worth £15,000, for their new catheter design NuCath whilst Bristol Braille Technology CIC was awarded the £5,000 Recognition Award for Canute 360, an e-reader for braille users.

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