2022 – Brain Injury Inventor App wins second prize for Young Innovators | Applications

Identical twins Luke and Ellis Parry were studying engineering at Oxford in 2012 when Luke suffered a devastating brain injury after falling from a balcony. Doctors told Ellis that his brother only had hours to live.

A decade later, Luke is now working and training to become a Paralympic athlete. This remarkable recovery is in large part due to his strength of character, although his brother also helped in his recovery. Created by Ellis Neugeist, a company that is developing a next-generation app to help people with neurological conditions lead independent lives.

Winning the State Award for Young Innovators, Ellis has since raised £250,000 of investment, released a prototype app and grown from one user (his brother) to more than 450. And this week, he was rewarded with another award: the Next Steps Young Innovators Prize of 50 £1,000 to grant additional support to promising young entrepreneurs in the UK.

“Luca’s accident was a defining moment for both of us. It changed the way we look at the world and how we interact with it,” Ellis said. “Since then he has overcome tremendous challenges and seeing how he deals with them has been crucial to Neumind’s running.”

Locke’s accident occurred when he slipped off a ledge while on vacation and suffered catastrophic brain trauma. Part of his skull had to be removed to relieve the pressure that was building up inside, and he was in a coma for weeks after the accident. Then he had to go through a very slow rehabilitation process.

At the time, several doctors told Luke’s parents that he would never be able to walk or talk coherently again. “You didn’t know my brother,” said Ellis.

Slowly, with the patient’s help from his family, Luke began responding to treatment. “Shockingly, 70 percent of people in this country do not receive proper rehabilitation after an injury or neurological illness, while the lucky few who do find it only lasts about 10 weeks on average,” Ellis said. “After that there is practically no support for them. But recovering from a brain injury is a lifelong journey.”

It was the discovery of his brother’s limited support that prompted Ellis to found Neumind and develop his app – Alfred, named after Batman’s Butler server – to help people with acquired brain injury (ABI).

“We developed Alfred to help people with cognitive disabilities take control of their lives. Provides intelligent prompts to aid memory and planning; offers neurological training programs. It connects the person to their own broader support network of family, friends, and caregivers.”

“This new award has allowed us to step back and be more ambitious. Now we’re not just building an app, but combining Alfred’s cognitive assistive technology with expert clinical guidance and an understanding community to share tips, strategies and support. It’s incredibly exciting.”