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Ireland-UK, Accelerator, 2020, EIT Health Ireland-UK

Headstart winner, Xploro, set to develop Spanish version of app

2nd March 2020

The use of gaming strategies to help people better understand or improve their health is on the rise, and Xploro is doing just that.

Dom Raban, Xploro’s Founder, and his team were awarded a €50k grant from the EIT Health Headstart competition last year after developing a therapeutics platform that uses augmented reality, artificial intelligence and gaming to reduce procedural anxiety among children.

The use of gaming strategies to help people better understand or improve their health is on the rise, and Xploro is doing just that.

With a focus on “familarisation” to reduce the fear of the unknown, the award winning and clinically validated health information platform delivers information to young patients, in a way which makes them feel empowered and informed, while having fun at the same time.

At the heart of Xploro’s creation is Dom’s daughter – Issy. Issy was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma back in 2011 and, despite having great clinical care, Dom recognised that there was little or no age appropriate information for Issy during her treatment.

“Any information was clinician to parent rather than clinician to child. So, I got very interested in information as a bona fide therapy,” said Dom, talking about why he decided to create the therapeutics platform.

“I did lots of research and – it’s common sense – but I discovered that patients provided with information prior to an intervention experienced reduced stress, which can lead to better clinical outcomes.”

Developing the app in Spain

And with better clinical outcomes driving Dom and his team, their ambition is to expand Xploro’s reach across Europe and beyond. As of this month, Xploro signed a partnership agreement with Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona, an EIT Health Partner, to develop a Spanish version of the app.

“We are developing the Spanish version, testing it with patients, and then making any sort of cultural adaptations we need to make to the app,” explained Dom.

And while Xploro currently focuses on empowering young patients, Dom and his team see this as just the beginning of where Xploro can go ­and the impact it can have.

“Over the next two-three years, our plan is to build internationally, particularly in Europe and in the US. Next year, we are hoping to open a small footprint on the ground in the US, and then to work with partners internationally to develop more content.”

In addition to expanding into international markets, Dom and his team want to use gaming strategy to help people living with other health conditions.

“Our long-term ambitious goal is to deliver Xploro to patients of any age, with any condition, anywhere in the world,” said Dom, talking about the team’s vision for the app.

EIT Health Headstart Programme

Headstart provides companies that are chosen for the programme up to €50,000 to support the development of innovative healthcare products and services. Companies winning Headstart awards will create a project plan with the support of the EIT Health Business Creation Managers, to help them harness the local and international network to accelerate their product launch.

Awards are intended to:

  • support the applicants in realising next steps towards market;
  • verify the need/benefit of the product/service;
  • increase the possibility of attracting further private investment.

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