Thursday, December 13

From Occupational Therapist To Startup Founder – Theratrak Looks To Bridge The Gap Between Therapy Sessions

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Theratrak, one of the startups selected to take place in the SheStarts Accelerator Program, is a mobile app that allows therapists to capture and digitise meaningful information in therapy sessions then use this data to prescribe, monitor and send therapy home programs to their clients.

The company was founded by Laura Simmons, a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, who after years of working in the private health sector recognised the challenges that parents and therapists faced when communicating home programs and following up outside of their scheduled therapy sessions.

In particular, Laura stated that “this never seemed to be because parents didn’t care, it always came down to “oh we forgot”, “I couldn’t remember what to do” or “I didn’t understand what you wanted me to do but I didn’t want to bug you in between our sessions”.

On the other end of the spectrum Laura spoke to Occupational Therapists who would say they were seeing the same problem with their clients. Despite everyone knowing the problem existed however, no one was really looking at how to fix it.

That’s where Laura saw opportunity and decided to launch Theratrak. In essence, the mobile app gives patients digital access to the home program prescribed by the therapist. This makes it easy for the client to follow the prescribed activities between therapy sessions and also allows the Therapist to capture meaningful information, such as photos and videos of the clients completing activities.

To help get Theratrak off the ground Laura applied to SheStarts with her concept. SheStarts is an accelerator program designed to turbocharge female entrepreneurs looking to build tech ideas. Successful applicants to SheStarts receive investment to kickstart their startup, have access to an in-house dedicated tech team to help build the product and access to a long list of Mentors with proven experience in and around the startup scene.

Currently Theratrak is at the MVP stage. As Laura pointed out, at this stage Theratrak operates as “a dual sided digital platform for clients accessing occupational therapy.” This will help bridge the communication gap that happens when parents leave therapy sessions and also help reduce the amount of admin work for the Therapist.

Longer term however, Laura’s vision for Theratrak is much broader. The vision is “to bring this form of technology to all areas of paediatrics and create digital health treatment records and virtual multidisciplinary teams so that parents can access all of their treatment programs in one spot, track their child’s progress and effectively communicate their goals to every member of their child’s care team so that they can have better access to a holistic approach to therapy.”

To get there Laura will continue to leverage the power of her own ecosystem. In fact Laura says that she “found some of the best customer insights, pilots sights and sign ons came through organic networking and putting questions to social media groups that are specifically targeted towards occupational therapists.”

It also helps that Laura is still a practicing Occupational Therapist and is able to pilot the application the clinic where she works. Seeing it come alive in the real world and be able to assist her own clients represents a major milestone for Theratrak.

This, combined with the upcoming pitch night for SheStarts has kept Laura busy as she prepares to pitch for additional investment and also seeks out her first employee.

For more information on Theratrak you can visit their website here.

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About Author

Paul Towers is a passionate supporter of the Australian startup ecosystem and the Founder of Startup Soda. Originally, Startup Soda was solely a newsletter that helped curate the best content from the Australian startup community, more recently however it has turned into a media platform with the aim of improving coverage of Australian Startups, Founders and VC's.

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