Phyxable Delivers Virtual Rehab from Markham to Space

Jan 09, 2024

Phyxable founder Dr. Jim Feng always envisioned the virtual rehab platform as a tool for engaging patients with their physiotherapy exercises. The platform was designed to help people with pain quickly diagnose, design a self-care plan, and prevent injuries from recurring all without leaving their homes or offices. But there’s no way he could’ve imagined that home or office would be a space station or lunar colony.

The healthcare technology company, based out of YSpace Markham – York University’s incubator for growth-ready tech ventures – recently inked a deal with the Canadian Space Agency to be a foundational piece of its Health Beyond Initiative for providing healthcare and preventative rehab beyond Earth. “It’s awesome and really out there… literally,” says Feng.

Currently, Feng says the platform can analyze data from point-of-care, diagnostic and assessment devices to create reports for practitioners instantly. “We even have an ultrasound that's able to push toward an artificial intelligence platform that can give us real-time echocardiogram results,” says Feng. That data can be used to quickly diagnose and develop a self-care plan for patients – critical for those living off-planet without access to a doctor. “We can treat people anywhere in the world, and then, hopefully, on Mars someday,” says Feng.

The Canadian Space Agency deal is yet another unexpected in Phyxable’s unconventionally accelerated trajectory. Feng’s background is in clinical treatment. As a sports chiropractor and founder of Form & Function, a Markham-based chiropractic, rehab and wellness clinic, Feng has worked with world-class athletes including the National Wrestling team and the UFC. Phyxable builds on that, increasing access to rehab and making it more engaging through incentivization. “We’re using the same psychodynamic tools that social media like TikTok and everybody else is using to get you to engage.”

Feng founded the company in 2017 but COVID-19 helped supercharge interest in telehealth, putting Phyxable in a good position for growth. He recently brought the business to YSpace Markham, where he’s an entrepreneur-in-residence working with the healthcare tech startups building within the space. “I think YSpace is a great place to get started,” says Feng. “And

Markham has a really good ecosystem.”

From Feng’s perspective, the region functions as a roadmap for innovative companies as they move from the early stages toward more robust funding and growth. “It’s a really good opportunity to live and play and run your business.”

As for Phyxable, Markham has proven to be a springboard for growth. It’s allowed easy access to developer talent both within the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. “It’s really important to have that (innovation) corridor,” says Feng. It’s especially critical given that fellow Markham-based research and development company Micron Digital will be building the triage robots for the Health Beyond Initiative with the Canadian Space Agency. Feng says Micron Digital is a key partner in their success with this project. It’s also an example of the type of cutting-edge artificial intelligence development coming out of Markham.

“Really good companies are built in downturns,” says Feng. “This wave is literally the information and AI wave… we’re at a critical point where a lot of things are going to change in the ecosystem.”