Australia’s new physical therapy in a virtual world

Posted 10 months ago by David McManus
Following a stroke or brain injury, people often find that they have acquired an upper-limb motor impairment as a result, but Neuromersiv are looking to provide support on the path to progress. (Image via Neuromersiv)
Following a stroke or brain injury, people often find that they have acquired an upper-limb motor impairment as a result, but Neuromersiv are looking to provide support on the path to progress. (Image via Neuromersiv)

Neuromersiv, an Australian health-technology company founded by Anshul Dayal and Oliver Morton-Evans, has developed an innovative and cost-effective new system to support stroke and brain injury survivors who experience upper-limb motor impairment.

Key points:

  • Approximately 56,000 Australians are affected by stroke each year, 80 percent of which require upper-limb rehabilitation therapy to regain independence
  • The virtual reality (VR) rehabilitation system is developed by Neuromersiv and is called Ulysses, offering a variety of digital activities to aid in recovery
  • Tasks are gamified to encourage survivors to keep going and do their very best

Neuromersiv founders aim to fill a gap in the sector through offering engaging and motivating rehabilitation therapies focused on the upper-limb. Their solution — Ulysses — is the result of several years of clinical validation, with input from industry academics, key opinion leaders and allied health professionals. The system was recently also registered as a medical device with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anshul Dayal says Neuromersiv wanted to create an impactful solution that was engaging, highly accessible and supported the work of clinicians.

Ulysses offers a unique combination of immersive, realistic VR environments with gamified practical tasks based on activities of daily living (ADLs) and a clear focus on skill re-acquisition,” Mr Dayal says.


“Upper-limb modalities can be highly repetitive and unengaging — that often leads to poor therapy compliance and outcomes. Ulysses has been designed using research-led game design principles to enhance engagement with patients and improve likelihood of their compliance with clinician programs.”


Ulysses is offered with an industry-leading VR headset — the Meta Oculus — which is wireless, portable and requires minimal setup, allowing for seamless use in clinics and home-based environments with minimal supervision.

An independent clinical study of the system recently came to a close in Tamworth, in partnership with the University of Newcastle. In the research trial, a small group of stroke survivors from regional New South Wales were using the Ulysses therapy system continuously for six weeks, three times a week in addition to their routine therapy. Results found that 80 percent of participants were able to show signs of improvement, along with a willingness to continue using the system.

“The results from the study combined with several years of existing clinical literature confirms that immersive VR can positively impact rehabilitation outcomes and with extended use, that results can potentially be life-changing for stroke patients,” Mr Dayal comments.

Kwan Leung, CEO of Enable Exercise says, “[…] we have been able to witness a remarkable level of client engagement using virtual reality-based rehabilitation.”

“The innovative approach has effectively challenged our clients’ functional capacity, and developed promising outcomes in their rehabilitation journey,” he adds.

Survivor Vaughan Massey has been using Ulysses for just over three months after a stroke roughly 18 months prior.

“I have seen an increase in the movement of my left hand since beginning with Ulysses. I find my left thumb and forefinger starting to respond and move as I use my right hand to perform tasks and play games using Ulysses,” says Mr Massey.

“We’ve been mindful of affordability, to both end-users and rehabilitation providers, through the development. As such, we have set a reasonable price point and also offer a flexible monthly leasing option that makes the system favourable for reimbursement through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), iCare and aged care/disability packages,” says Anshul.