Cognivive – 21 July

21 Jul 2020


Cognivive develops evidence-based virtual reality (VR) treatment games to enable neuro-rehabilitation recovery in the home. Cognivive combines neuroscience with sophisticated game design to create treatments that constantly adapt to the patient, resulting in personalized digital medicines. The self-motivating nature of the games will encourage patients to self-administer treatment “doses” at home with much greater adherence.

With many companies trying to take a share of the digital therapeutics health industry sector, Cognivive faces a number of competitors including XR Health, MindMaze, REAL Immersive System (Penumbra), Jintronix, and Reflexion Health. What distinguishes Cognivive from most others in the field is their use of immersive virtual reality, which is a key advantage to the therapeutic impact of their treatments. Those that do use VR do not have fully personalized treatments that adapt automatically to the patient, unlike those of Cognivive. A further advantage is that while most companies focus on in-clinic and not home use, Cognivive’s products are designed primarily for home use. These are the most urgently-needed solutions In the era of COVID-19 limitations on hands-on medical care. Cognivive deploys a unique commercial-quality video game design in order to ensure long term use and adherence to their treatments.



Cognivive recently successfully graduated from the Creative Destruction Lab West Health stream, and has also done well in garnering numerous support partners. They formed a partnership with the flagship rehabilitation center of a major US healthcare network in order to begin clinical trials. In addition, they have a long term partnership with UCLA Neurology Department and Rehabilitation Institute through their main medical advisor Dr. Bruce Dobkin. They’ve also established a partnership with a Sacramento area rehabilitation clinic for feasibility trials and have a potential partnership with the University of Calgary clinical trials unit.

With Cognivive’s current fundraising efforts, they anticipate securing engagement of long term investors, which will entice further investments. They are raising money to enable the data gathering processes that will support adoption, regulation, and reimbursement of their products as prescription digital therapeutics. In support of carrying these goals to fruition, Cognivive plans to partner with private clinics, university medical schools, and large non-profit medical systems to run a range of clinical trials to secure the data they need.



Dr. Tony Simon, Founder, and CEO – Dr. Tony Simon has spent over 30 years as a cognitive neuroscientist. He is an expert in the study of the neurocognitive impairments resulting from atypical brain development and brain injury, such as stroke and some forms of traumatic brain injury. He’s been on the faculty of the University of California Davis School of Medicine for 15 years and, until taking leave to focus on Cognivive, was the Associate Director of the UC Davis MIND Institute. Tony has been awarded over $7 million in NIH research grants since 2002.

Ted Aronson, Co-Founder, and Chief Creative Officer – Ted Aronson has nearly a decade of experience as a professional game developer with Zynga, Mindsnacks, and Funomena, and at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He was part of an NSF-funded team that designed a game to motivate exercise for middle school children in collaboration with UC Davis. Ted holds a BSE in Digital Media Design from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Joseph Salisbury, Head of Digital Therapeutics – Dr. Joseph Salisbury is a neuroscientist and software engineer dedicated to the design, development, and clinical evaluation of digital game-based rehabilitative and diagnostic technologies. Prior to joining Cognivive, he was the Director of Software Development and a grant-funded Principal Investigator at Brain Power LLC, where he successfully launched a wearable computer system for gamified social-emotional education for children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder. He was also the Lead Engineer on a Department of Defense SBIR-funded project to develop and evaluate algorithms for measuring postural stability and vestibular rehabilitation exercises using commercial off-the-shelf devices. Joseph holds a MA in Mathematics from Rhode Island College and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brandeis University.

Dr. Anastasia Peck, Clinical Lead – Dr. Pech is a physical therapist experienced in treating neurologic and orthopedic diagnoses throughout the full continuum of rehabilitation. She holds a BS in Physiological Science from the University of California Los Angeles and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from California State University, Northridge.



Cognivive was incorporated in January 2017 and was awarded two small grants from the University of California Venture Catalyst group. They were also awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research grant by the National Institutes of Health in 2017. To date, Cognivive has raised $795,000 USD in angel investments and plans its first equity round in early 2021.

Currently, Cognivive is looking to raise $500,00 USD in capital. These funds will primarily be used to secure and increase their personnel in order to expand the therapeutic capabilities of their treatments. This will allow them to carry out initial clinical trials, and to secure regulatory approval, primarily from the US FDA.

A grand mission of creating valuable change through science and technology requires a big team to bring it to reality. Thus, Cognivive is looking to expand their team in various sectors, starting with the development team, in order to broaden their therapeutic capabilities. They are also planning to grow their clinical team for further work on carrying out trials. Lastly is the expansion of their Quality Assurance/Regulatory team to ensure the highest standards of their products and to secure regulatory approval from international government agencies.


Revenue Model

Cognivive will operate as a Business-to-Business company with their main customers being health care providers such as hospital systems, healthcare networks, and private rehabilitation clinics. Their treatments will be prescribed for stroke patients by Neurologists and Physiatrists and will be used mainly at home by the patients. The patients’ treating clinicians will be physical and occupational therapists specializing in neurorehabilitation. Cognivive will establish a Durable Medical Equipment model and offer purchase options to medical providers along with subscriptions for long term support and expansion of their therapeutic software.



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