A chronic back problem led bioelectronic boss Rick Rowan into personally researching pain relief. In an exclusive interview with Health Tech World he explains how the science of bioelectronics and the application of electroceuticals will transform the quality of life for people worldwide
New technology which allows patients to manage their chronic and acute pain without the direct involvement of medical professionals is expanding rapidly across the world.
Nurokor is creating bioelectronic software for clinical and therapeutic application via wearables which are being worn to manage pain, and has announced new growth in the UK and US markets.
Rick said: “I started NuroKor two years ago, born out of my own long and arduous struggle with chronic back pain – a problem that first reared its ugly head when I was a child, and by my teenage years had become a persistent and, at times, a totally debilitating issue. After attempting to manage my condition with a variety of anti-inflammatory drugs and other painkillers, I eventually refused to accept that this would be my long term future and set out to find another way to treat chronic pain that didn’t involve a cocktail of often harmful medicines.
“It was along that journey that I first started to learn about bioelectronics – the notion that electricity, applied to the body in various ways, could relieve pain and stimulate recovery and healing of tissues. Initially cynical myself, I began trialing some basic nerve stimulators – devices that stimulate nerves to relieve pain – and, anecdotally, found that they worked, but with varying degrees of success.
“I recognised the potential in bioelectronics, so I threw myself into extensive research of the field – exploring countless clinical studies and testing the theory that different combinations of frequencies and pulse settings could produce a more consistent and successful solution to my pain.
He added: “Our company mission is to use the science of bioelectronics and the application of electroceuticals to transform the quality of life for people worldwide.”
NuroKor has announced 12 months of rapid growth, during which its six-month sales rose by 156 per cent, and opened a state-of-the-art R&D centre in Cardiff creating a series of new jobs.
It is also breaking the US market with a five-year partnership with Medi-Launch, a US-based firm specialising in the launch and distribution of medical devices.
NuroKor, which pioneers wearable technology that uses bioelectric nerve, muscle and microcurrent stimulation to help manage pain and optimise physical performance, is in further talks with the Welsh Government about other innovations.
Located in the Tramshed Tech hub and creating a series of jobs across the business, the new site will be dedicated to advancing their clinical programme and forging closer relationships with key academic, research and NHS partners.
Medi-Launch, which specialises in the launch and distribution of pioneering medical devices, will be working with NuroKor to optimise the commercial success of NuroKor’s mibody device and newly developed mediliev Rx across the US through over-the-counter and prescription avenues to support chronic pain management and recovery.
Rick added: “It’s been an exceptional 12 months for NuroKor and we have some huge developments in the pipeline. Our new research and development centre in Cardiff will play a pivotal role in our expansion over the coming year.
“Being part of the Tramshed Tech hub is incredibly exciting – it’s a hotbed for innovation and creativity and we’ll be surrounded by several other high-growth and ambitious tech startups. There’s also a huge amount of talent in Cardiff, so we look forward to welcoming a number of new team members in a range of roles to support our research and development programme.
“It goes without saying that it has been an incredibly challenging time for the healthcare industry of late, but despite the effects of the pandemic, it has been an extremely busy period of growth for us. During the peak of lockdown (May – October), our half year sales figures were up 156 per cent on the previous year, demonstrating how the healthtech ecosystem in the UK is thriving in the face of great adversity.”
With the global bioelectronics industry now predicted to be worth USD $25 billion by 2023 according to Global Market Insights and major players such as Roche and Medtronic achieving billion dollar sales annually, there is no denying that the bioelectronics industry is thriving.
Over the past 12 months, the company has secured financial backing from 28 healthcare professionals – including surgeons, physicians, physiotherapists and pharmacists – taking its overall total to more than 60 investors. The business has also raised £2m under SEIS and EIS advance assurance in the lead up to £10m Series A raise, which will be taking place this year.
Once the Series A funding is finalised, it will be used to activate the business’s 24 – 48 month roadmap, which will include the development of biosensor feedback, AI and machine learning algorithms.
Dr Ashish Shetty, chief medical officer, pain and neuromodulation, at NuroKor said: “As people’s attitudes and expectations towards receiving healthcare treatments continue to change in line with the ramifications of Covid-19, remote monitoring and interventional solutions, like the NuroKor devices, are becoming increasingly important.
“Our technology allows patients to manage their chronic and acute pain without the direct involvement of medical professionals – meaning patients can benefit from greater treatment control and our NHS can focus on more urgent and pressing matters.”