Fourier Intelligence Explores Advanced Modes of Therapy with Malaysian University UiTM
Shanghai startup signed an MoU with the largest Malaysian public university, paving the way for it to test products and implement new concepts in physiotherapy. Areas of cooperation detailed in MoU cover knowledge exchange, mutual visit by staff and validation of the new concept known as robotic 'group therapy.'
Fazah Akhtar Hanapiah, associate professor and deputy dean responsible for research, linkages and innovation at the Faculty of Medicine, UiTM, shakes hands with Zen Koh, chief strategy officer of Fourier Intelligence, after signing on the MoU document on September 5.
Shanghai, September 8, 2019 – Shanghai Fourier Intelligence, a leading innovative rehabilitation robotics maker, announced on September 5 that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), the largest public university in Malaysia, to conduct joint research and promote the concept of robotic group therapy in the Southeast Asian nation.
The signing of the MoU is the latest in a series of moves by the 4-year-old Shanghai tech startup to tap into the global knowledge networks on robotics and physiotherapy, after it signed similar agreements with other world-class institutions including Chicago-based Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and ETH Zürich in Switzerland earlier this year.
According to the MoU, Fourier Intelligence will supply several units of its ArmMotus M2, a robot aimed at assisting upper limb recovery, to the teaching hospital of UiTM. The robots will become part of the teaching tools adopted by Faculty of Medicine at UiTM, which has 13 branch campuses and 35 satellite campuses throughout Malaysia, said Owen Teoh, Global Head of Sales at Fourier Intelligence.
In addition to M2, Fourier will also provide its exoskeleton platform X1 to the university's engineering department to propel joint research in the next-generation wearable lower-limb robotics.
Although it has become increasingly commonplace for Malaysian hospitals and clinics to incorporate robots into their day-to-day treatment of stroke patients, elderly citizens and other victims of mobility impairment, robotic group therapy consisting of more than one machine has been a relatively novel concept. "Existing record on clinical trials shows that robotic group therapy, like the multi-device solutions championed by Fourier, proves cost-effective as one doctor can supervise three patients at a time in the training session," said Teoh. "Besides, the interaction between patients and therapists adds fun to the process."
Collaboration between Fourier and UiTM will be multi-faceted, as they look to not just spur academic research based on data generated by the robots, but also to better combine their resources for the promotion of robotic group therapy. "This cooperation will essentially help to validate Fourier's robotic group therapy concept, collect feedback and identify technical areas in need of further improvement," Teoh noted.
The latest MoU marked another step for the Shanghai-based robotics startup, which set up its global hub office in Singapore last year in a quest to enlarge its presence in Southeast Asia.
Teoh said both parties stand to benefit as they complement each other's strengths. "UiTM is the topnotch university in Malaysia and has a campus in every state of the country," he explained. "Their network of academic access is wide, with 1,000 physiotherapists graduating from the university every year."
Fourier Intelligence's partnership with UiTM hinges on the goodwill they have built since the Annual Malaysia Rehabilitation Medicine Conference last November, which Fourier attended as a platinum sponsor. Following eight months of close communication, the two sides hammered out an MoU to finalize details of their tie-up. Apart from joint research, data collection and analysis, they will also send staff, undergraduate and graduate students to each other for periods of study and research, among other terms agreed upon in the MoU.
Fazah Akhtar Hanapiah, associate professor and deputy dean responsible for research, linkages and innovation at the Faculty of Medicine, UiTM, said she acknowledges Fourier's role as one of the several companies that are contributing to the clinical rehabilitation industry in Malaysia. "Fourier’s vision of robotic technology is heading in the right direction," said Hanapiah. "It is aligned with the needs of rehab physicians."
Nonetheless, the immense market for rehabilitation in Southeast Asia is largely underserved as the region receives less attention from big tech firms from Europe and America. This has created opportunities for companies like Fourier.
"As an Asian company with an ever-larger global footprint, we hope to act as a bridge-builder to connect leading institutions in the West and their Southeast Asian counterparts who are enthusiastic about using robotics in scenarios like rehabilitation," said Teoh of Fourier Intelligence.
About Fourier Intelligence
Fourier Intelligence is an innovative global technology company focusing on developing, manufacturing and marketing of rehabilitation robotics and exoskeleton. The company is committed to making life easier for overworked therapists by cutting their workload since much of their treatment is person to person. Fourier's ultimate goal is to enhance the efficiency of therapy for stroke victims and other patients and help to fill the shortfall of qualified therapists in China and beyond.
Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) is a public university in Malaysia, based primarily in Shah Alam, Malaysia. Established in 1956 as the RIDA (Rural & Industrial Development Authority) Training Centre, it opened to some 50 students with a focus to help the rural Malays. Since that time it has grown into the largest higher education institution in Malaysia by physical infrastructure, staff organization (academic and non-academic), and student enrollment.
For investor and media inquiries, please contact:
Mr Zen Koh (Deputy CEO / Chief Strategy Officer)
Mr Owen TEOH(Global Head of Sales)
Phone: Tel: +65 6911 6651