Saebo

Robots for Stroke Victims

Company Information

Website:

https://www.saebo.com/

Sector:

Medical Devices & Equipment

Location:

Charlotte, NC

Every two seconds, someone suffers a stroke.

Since 2004, Saebo has ensured that they have a good chance at recovering. Saebo is a medical robotics company that’s created a line of rehabilitation products. These products offer stroke survivors a chance to overcome paralysis and regain their quality of life.

This company’s FDA-cleared products are used by nearly 1 million stroke survivors globally, and in more than 4,000 hospitals around the world. The products are protected by 17 patents and have been featured in 20 medical textbooks, as well as numerous university curriculums.

Saebo is similar to another medical robotics company called ReWalk Robotics. ReWalk makes a bionic assistance system to help paraplegics walk. (Crowdability readers had the chance to invest in this company before it went public. And those who did had the chance to earn ~400% profits in just one year.)

But Saebo’s main focus is on helping those who have suffered from a stroke, which occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients.

Stroke is the No. 1 cause of long-term disability. By 2030, almost 4% of U.S. adults will have had a stroke. For those who are lucky enough to survive, overcoming paralysis can take months, or even years, of intense therapy.

The problem is that, too often, patients are treated in facilities that don’t offer the latest advances in stroke rehabilitation technology. They’re often sent home with no effective home program and without the tools or resources they need to recover.

At the same time, doctors routinely misinform stroke patients about the potential for additional recovery. Many patients are told they've reached a recovery “plateau,” and that additional progress is no longer possible. Making matters worse, insurance rarely covers the cost of long-term therapy or innovative rehabilitation products.

Saebo solves these problems. It creates effective, safe, affordable products enabling every patient to maximize their neurological recovery, whether in a clinic or at home.

The company has a dozen different products, each aimed at helping patients target a specific area of rehabilitation. Products include:

• SaeboGlove: this device helps clients with neurological and orthopedic injuries regain hand functionality.

• SaeboStim: this is a wireless electrical stimulation device that targets shoulder rehabilitation.

• SaeboVR: this virtual rehabilitation system engages patients in physical and cognitive challenges.

• SaeboMAS: this is a mobile arm support designed to help patients with weakened shoulders perform exercises and daily functional activities.

• Saebo Mirror Box: this tool is used to speed up and improve motor function and sensation.

Each of Saebo’s products are FDA cleared and offered as Class 1 medical devices. Products are sold directly to patients through the company’s e-commerce platform. And Saebo also sells products to hospitals and treatment centers, as well as through international healthcare providers and medical product distributors. The company spends around $45 to acquire each customer and achieves a lifetime customer value of $300.

Saebo created its first rehabilitation product in 2003 and has brought in lifetime revenue of $44 million. Its first product, the SaeboFlex — an orthopedic tool to help patents regain hand strength — was recently put on display at the London Science Museum alongside other breakthrough medical technologies such as penicillin and the first MRI.

Moving forward, Saebo aims to create products to help patients with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.

Team Background

Alan Zdyb - Vice President of Finance

Alan has 35 years of financial experience with a specific focus on health care companies.

He began his career as an audit manager with KPMG, a professional services company. He then worked for ConPharma Home Health Care, a medical equipment company, and then became an executive with a multi-location nursing home company.

For the past 19 years, Alan has worked for CHMG Solutions, a health care company, serving as its VP of Finance. This remains his full-time position and he dedicates about 10 hours per week to Saebo.

He studied at the University of Buffalo.

Henry Hoffman - Co-Founder & President

Henry is an experienced occupational therapist who co-created the SaeboFlex exoskeleton, the device on display at the London Museum of Science.

Prior to starting Saebo, he was a clinical specialist at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, where he focused on non-operative orthopedic medicine and neurorehabilitation. He left Burke to start Saebo in 2003.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from D’Youville College.

Scott Thompson - Director of Clinical Services

Scott holds Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Occupational Therapy, with advanced certifications in neurological treatment.

In addition to his role with Saebo, he holds two advisory board positions for two occupational therapy schools.

Todd Wiebusch - Executive Chairman

Todd has more than 30 years of experience in the home health and rehabilitation sectors.

In addition to his role with Saebo, he is a partner with Courage Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund based in Finland. This fund invests in digital health and wellness companies.

Earlier, he was CEO of CHMG Capital, a private investment firm that focuses on the health care industry.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from Davidson College and an MBA from the University of North Carolina.