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DigitalJul 8, 2024

Physio and chief executive Gadi Nir discusses how BoBo takes physical therapy to the 'next level'

In an exclusive PhysioUpdate Q&A feature, Gadi Nir tells editor Ian A McMillan how having a background in physiotherapy spurred him on to help create BoBo, an innovative company whose products are used by nearly 10,000 physical therapy clinics, rehabilitation centres and hospitals around the world. In addition, 12,000 home users incorporate Bobo into their daily routines. 

An 'entrepreneur at heart', Gadi reveals that BoBo is planning to host a face-to-face seminar in London this August, featuring 'many surprises' for both physiotherapists who already use BoBo in their practice and those who are interested in learning more.

Gadi also offers some top tips for physios who might be budding entrepreneurs themselves, advising them to share their inventions. 'Don’t be afraid that someone will steal your idea. The benefits you’ll gain from discussing it far outweigh any potential harm,' he suggests.

Photo Credit: BoBo
Pointing the way forward: Gadi Nir is BoBo's chief executive officer and co-founder

Physique
Physique

We see you are a physiotherapist. When and where did you graduate and how did your career develop early on?

I studied physiotherapy in Israel and developed a keen interest in rehabilitation technology during my degree. By the end of my studies, I conducted research that demonstrated measuring range of motion with a goniometer app is just as reliable and high-quality as using a standard goniometer. You could say I'm an entrepreneur at heart. Just a week after graduating, I opened a fish and chip restaurant in Jerusalem. A year later, I began working as a physiotherapist while also importing insoles and running seminars for physiotherapists, which was a great experience. I've spent most of my career working with athletes, specialising in orthopaedics.

We started the company in 2015 while still working as physiotherapists. It wasn't until 2019 that I fully committed to the company full-time. Today, BoBo technology can be found in nearly 10,000 physical therapy clinics, rehab centres and hospitals, as well as in 15,000 homes.

We began with a big vision: to turn all existing therapy exercises and tools into smart and interactive devices. Our goal was to elevate the field of physical therapy to the next level and make significant improvements [Gadi Nir]

What prompted you to develop Bobo?

After a few years of working with various populations, my partner and I saw a huge potential for integrating technology into our work. We did have technological products in the clinics we worked in, but they were all large, expensive, and cumbersome. I think the success of our research during our degree, combined with an entrepreneurial spirit, made us really want to change something. 

We had many ideas but eventually decided to focus on training. I believe most physiotherapists would agree that training is one of the most crucial parts of rehabilitation. So, we began with a big vision: to turn all existing therapy exercises and tools into smart and interactive devices. Our goal was to elevate the field of physical therapy to the next level and make significant improvements.

What are its main attributes for physios running a busy clinic?

The Bobo platform combines motion sensors and software. I think we've managed to solve some major issues in the rehabilitation field when it comes to therapy exercises

  • motivation and engagement: the app provides real-time feedback and includes many games that make therapy enjoyable, fun, and more challenging
  • measurement and assessment – data of every exercise or series of exercises is captured in the system. Training data is stored, allowing therapists to easily track performance levels and the patient's progress from session to session
  • because we advocate for home exercises as the best path to quality rehabilitation, our system also supports remote therapy monitoring. Patients receive personalised home exercise plans created by their physiotherapist, who can monitor all performance data and adjust training parameters remotely

 

What sets it apart from other products in the field?

Our primary aim was to create tools that physical therapists can seamlessly integrate into their daily routines, prioritising simplicity above all else. Here are a few key aspects:

  • User-friendly software: We invested thousands of hours to ensure our software is incredibly easy to navigate. With just three to four taps, therapists can start a session without the hassle of lengthy registrations or inputting numerous parameters:
  • Efficient product design: Our single sensor digitises three essential training categories – balance, cycling, and wearable – streamlining the rehabilitation process.
  • Built on familiar practices: rather than introducing new rehabilitation methods, we've built our platform around common exercises and tools already familiar to therapists. This approach allows seamless integration into existing routines, eliminating the need for extensive retraining.
  • Moreover, affordability is crucial to us. We've ensured our product is one of the most cost-effective solutions on the market, offering exceptional value for money. 

What three tips would you give to physiotherapists with a business idea they would like to develop?

  • share, share, share. As soon as you have an idea, talk about it as much as possible. Don’t be afraid that someone will steal your idea. The benefits you’ll gain from discussing it far outweigh any potential harm
  • stay optimistic and embrace a bit of irrationality. Turning an idea into a successful product and company is one of the hardest and least rewarding processes
  • exercise every day. It helps with concentration and maintaining long-term sanity. Plus, sometimes during repetitive exercise, your brain processes information differently – leading to important insights

How can interested readers in the UK and beyond find out more about Bobo?

To learn more, you can visit our websites

In the UK, click 

In the USA, click 

International: click 

Good news! A face-to-face seminar is planned in London this August, featuring many surprises for both physiotherapists who already use BoBo in their practice and those who are interested in learning more. Stay tuned, and if you'd like us to keep you in the loop, feel free to email us at: info@nivamd.com

Exercise every day. It helps with concentration and maintaining long-term sanity. Plus, sometimes during repetitive exercise, your brain processes information differently – leading to important insights [Gadi Nir]

How do you relax away from work?

Jogging, running, sleeping and – above all – spending time with my family.

Gadi Nir is BoBo’s chief executive officer and co-founder

Author: Gadi Nir
Physique
Physique
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