While male wearing a grey shirt and glasses, smiling to camera, on a black background, wearing headphones, surrounded by a halo of illustrations.

Justin turns gaming tech into assistive tech to make therapy fun 

Exercise can be boring and tech trailblazer Justin Keenan made it his mission to motivate people with cerebral palsy to do therapy. An idea sparked by a remote-control car was the lightbulb moment that led to LusioMATE, a wearable device and gaming platform.

Justin was working with Armin Songhori, co-founder of LusioMATE, who has a background in robotic engineering. Armin shared the story about Arisha, a young patient of his doctor friend. Arshia had cerebral palsy and his doctor was trying to solve the problem of getting Arshia to adhere to physical therapy. Armin conjured up a ‘therapy toy’ by customising a remote-controlled car. When young Arshia did his therapy movement exercises, to his delight the car moved back and forth; Arshia was engaged and the problem for Armin’s doctor friend was solved. For Justin, this sparked an idea that became a mission: to make gaming tech into assistive tech to help inject fun and motivate people to continue with their mundane therapy routines. But he knew they couldn’t do it alone.  

Justin knew it was crucial to work with Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) as the globally recognised experts in cerebral palsy to bring their idea to fruition. Through a series of sliding door moments, an introduction to CPA’s start up incubator, Remarkable, led to being accepted into the cohort of 2017. Funded by CPA, Remarkable provides support for early-stage businesses or ideas, like Justin and Armin’s, to change the lives of people living with a disability. 

CPA’s alliance of great minds in research, technology, fundraising, therapy, and client experience came together to make LusioMATE possible.  

Since 2017 the hive mind of CPA therapists and families have provided testing and feedback, helping to shape the development of LusioMATE. That support has continued with CPA taking the product into each of its sites and road testing all manner of developments such as onboarding and clinician product training. And, as a result, kids are now loving every minute of therapy.  

 “By backing our idea CPA gave us access to their clinicians and families, without which our tech would never have developed as quickly as it has into what it is today. The support and guidance from CPA and Remarkable were pivotal for our success,” said Justin. 

“Everyone I’ve met and worked with at CPA is truly passionate about the great work they do. Within the organisation there is a willingness to embrace change and look for new ways of working and this makes CPA a trailblazer in the space.  It never rests on its laurels, and is constantly pushing for innovation and best practice, with the net result of it being recognised as the leader in CP research globally. I have to say that the way LusioMATE has been embraced by CPA is as good a testament as any to the concept of ‘great minds think differently”, said Justin. 

 LusioMATE works on movement goals, transforming typically boring and repetitive exercises into fun games. These games have helped motivate children like Arran to reach his goals; of climbing the stairs and racing in his race runner in international competitions.  Seeing kids like Arran achieve their goals are special moments that Justin cherishes; they’re proof of the impact that LusioMATE can have on people’s lives.  

This is the magic that can happen when

Great minds think differently!