Max Ortiz Catalán developed Neuromotus and won #EYA14. After two years, he shares his successful further way with you. Check out this interview!

How would you describe Neuromotus in three sentences?
Neuromotus is a novel technology for the treatment of neuropathic pain caused by amputation or motor impairment. It exploits principles of brain plasticity to alleviate such pain by promoting the execution of phantom movements via augmented reality and gaming. Phantom movements are decoded via machine learning to be then displayed in real-time in variety of virtual environments.

What was your motivation / intention to start Neuromotus?
My main motivation was to help patients get rid off phantom limb pain, a debilitating condition that can seriously hinder their quality of life.

You won the European Youth Award 2014 in the category “Healthy Life”. Can you describe this experience?  What were the most valuable things you learnt for your project?
It was very interesting to get to know the people behind other interesting projects, to motivate my team, and gather energy to continue. It was definitely an enjoyable experience.

What did change for you after winning EYA2014?
We have been continuously working on this project and performed a clinical trial with very satisfactory results. This technology is now in the verge of commercialization.

How did your project further develop after EYA 2014? Did you receive any other awards?
Not so far, but I have received research funding to continue working on it. I’m also often invited as a guest speaker in international conferences to talk about this new approach.

What are your plans for the future? What are your next steps with Neuromotus?
We are now testing the technology in the lower limbs with exciting results, so the development continues for other amputation levels.

We heard you were doing a scientific paper reporting the results of a clinical trial. What can you tell us about the results?
Not yet 🙂 but I can tell you that it has considerably improved the situation of most of the patients.

What can you tell us about patients who had therapy with Neuromotus? How did they react to working with your project? How often and how long do they have to train to feel pain relief?
The session last a couple of hours once or twice per week. In the clinical trial the patients had 12 sessions and the improvements in pain remained after 6 months from the last session, which is very important to establish clinical relevance. All patients enjoyed the treatment since it is considerable more engaging and fun than any other option available.

Do you have any tips or advice for all the other young social entrepreneurs and start-ups to bring their projects on the success track?
I’m not sure, I don’t see my self as an “entrepreneur”, neither I like the tag 🙂 I’m a scientist who wants to help people with the use of technology, and that is my main motivation. The commercialization of such technology is more the means to an end for me, the means to the end of providing people with technology that improves their quality of life.