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Coffee Conversation with Steven Plymale and Milos Popovic at Toronto Rehabweek 2019

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Release Date: 09/05/2023

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Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

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Steven Plymale is the CEO of MyndTec. He joined the firm in late 2017 and has more than 25 years of experience in the medical device industry. Previously, he was CEO of Profound Medical, bringing the company from a small six-person team to going public in 2015 in an IPO that raised $60 million. Plymale was also with Xltek, now a division of Natus Medical, and Claron Technologies.


Milos Popovic is the Director of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (KITE) and professor in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. He is also the co-founder and director of the MyndTec. Popovic’s decade of research and randomized clinical trials with stroke and spinal cord injury populations led to the development of the MyndMove device.

Takeaways:
Multidisciplinary teams help to build a successful rehabilitation institute.
Translation of rehabilitation technology is not easy but it can be fun.
It is important to harness neuroplasticity in the body and the brain to achieve successful long-lasting outcomes in rehabilitation.


[0:00] Steven Plymale and Milos Popovic introduced themselves to kick off the conversation with Jen French from Neurotech Reports and Ladan.
[0:35] Milos Popovic describes how RehabWeek 2019 ended up being hosted in Toronto, the first time the event was held in North America, and the plan his team put together
[1:32] Popovic describes his career journey from a nuclear engineer to director of an innovative rehabilitation research center and entrepreneur.
[3:33] Discussion of the building of the rehabilitation institute in Toronto Health Network with a team of 90 people and the importance of working directly with patients.
[4:58] Popovic describes the translation of technology from lab to the marketplace particularly in functional electrical stimulation and human clinical trials to a start-up company.
[6:24] Steven Plymale describes how he was introduced to MyndTec and his initiation into a small, struggling start-up company. Hear how he was convinced that electrical stimulation is not voodoo science
[7:50] Plymale and Popovic describe the MyndMove device.. Discussion ensues about the impact on upper extremity rehabilitation and the involvement of the brain, the melody of the neural activity, and how this therapy capitalizes on the neuroplasticity in the brain.
[12:02] Plymale discusses the current stage of MyndMove in the project development spectrum including regulatory approvals, raising capital investment, and pricing model.
[15:26] What is the target market for the MyndTec neural re-education device? Plymale also talks about their pursuit for clinical partners, their strategic focus and the economics of the medical device as an early stage venture.
[18:06] Steven Plymale talks about his career journey in the medical device industry and how he enjoys start-up ventures.
[19:25] Popovic concludes talking about what excites him at RehabWeek and the potential relationships building from this meeting.