Cosmin Mihaiu, Alina Calin, Andrei Cantea and Liviu-Andrei Dascalu. Remember these 4 names. They aren’t part of a SF movie or a fairy tale. Although their work got a solid foundation in the gaming industry, the results apply to a level you can’t imagine: physical therapy.
Episode 1: The idea!
Back in 2011, 4 Romanian students went at Microsoft – Imagine Cup. They came up with MIRA, a software platform that lets patients play interactive, therapeutic games. The jury from New York received their idea well and they decided to continue with it.
“Together with 3 friends, all of us software geeks, we asked ourselves: wouldn’t it be interesting if patients could play their way to recovery?” – that’s how Cosmin Mihaiu remembers the first days of MIRA in a very appreciated TED Talk. You can watch it below:
Episode 2: What is MIRA
MIRA stands for Medical Interactive Recovery Assistant. And because we talk about a vital domain, of course the platform suffered a lot of changes in the beginning.
Doctors and therapists were consulted. The solutions benefited from the input of many specialists.
“In Europe, the best place to be as a health startup is London”,
A big step was made when the project was accepted in Healthbox accelerator. “They helped us understand the medical industry. In only 3 months, our project became a business”, says Mihaiu.
Episode 3: How MIRA works
Next time you see somebody who buys a Microsoft Kinect, think it might be more to it than what you know.
And that’s because MIRA uses Kinect to follow the users movements.
It’s actually a brilliant idea, because in this case the patient doesn’t have additional sensors attached to their body.
Mihaiu gave us a hint about the future of MIRA: “We’ve looked at the HoloLens. I instinctively started to think of ways to use it to treat phobias, fear of spiders, heights, a room full of snakes… We can help people get over their fears” [wired.co.uk]
- Regarding HoloLens, don’t forget about the VR & AR setlist for ICEEfest. Anatolie Gavriliuc from Microsoft/ HoloLens is one of the speakers.
Episode 4: From software geek to Forbes “30 under 30”
MIRA isn’t anymore just a project. MIRA grew up and became MIRA Rehab, a company which develops exercise games to help with injury rehabilitation.
MIRA is not only doing well, is also doing good. The NGO, Un zambet cu Mira, Cluj, Romania, offers low cost therapy treatment, sometimes even free, to children and adults who need it.
So, no wonder why Cosmin Mihaiu, now MIRA Rehab’s CEO, was named one of the “30 under 30” by Forbes Romania in 2013. Two years later, he was invited in the TED Fellows Programme and his TED Talk has currently over 1,2 million views.
Cosmin is 26 now. We’re sure this is only the beginning.