There has been a meme in the past few years called Florida Man. In it, it highlights all the bizarre crimes and situations that many people in Florida seem to find themselves in.

Florida man beats ATM, says it gave him too much cash

Drunk Florida Man Uses Taco as ID

The list goes on, ranging from funny incidents to some depraved acts of violence. One reason for these whacky headlines is because Florida’s laws allow journalists to obtain information much easier than other states. However, another reason is that Florida has a mental health crisis. While Florida Man headlines can be funny, they highlight a darker issue in Florida, and in the US at large, and that is a population that needs mental health treatment.

  1. Let’s Look at the Facts

According to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute, Florida’s mental health crisis is eye-opening. There are over 650,000 adults living with a mental illness that is serious. Then, there are over 181,000 children who are dealing with the same thing. This is just accounting for the serious mental illnesses. There are probably even more who have mild mental illnesses or are diagnosed. Not to mention, people who have developed mental health problems thanks to abusing drugs or alcohol.

Even an occasional bout of depression can be devastating on an adult and requires the most care possible. But too many people in Florida don’t get the mental health treatment they need. With Florida, it isn’t just the poor and marginalized who aren’t receiving treatment, either. Florida is 49 in the rankings when it comes to the best mental health programs. They only spend $37.28 per person annually.

Mental health treatment should be something that more people are aware of. Counseling, diagnosis, and medicines should be more available to the public. Someone should not be ashamed to find the treatment they need. And yet, too many Americans, and especially Floridians, are dealing with an undiagnosed condition or a condition that is not receiving any treatment.

As for how much the state is spending on treatment, it is over $700 million. Meanwhile, they spend a billion every year on the prison system. Too many people are going to prison for petty crimes rather than receiving mental health treatment.

  1. What Can You Do?

It’s difficult for a single person to make a difference, but it’s possible. Obviously, too many people are suffering for you to help everyone. Adults, children, and our veterans are dealing with all sorts of problems.

Here are a few things you can do to help.

  • If someone is dealing with a mental health issue, be empathetic and listen to what they have to say. Obviously, you can’t help all your friends, but what you can do is be there for them and recommend them receive the mental health treatment they deserve. People can receive treatment in person or from services such as Regain.
  • Spread the word about May’s Mental Health Awareness Month. All it takes is a few clicks.
  • If you suspect you or a family member has a mental illness, try being diagnosed and receive the mental health treatment you need.
  • Remember to keep your mental health up even if you don’t have an illness. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and don’t forget to talk to someone if you need to express your feelings.
  • Donate to the less fortunate. Oftentimes, that homeless person needs mental health treatment more than anyone else.

These are just a few ways you can help. Perhaps one day, there will be less Florida Mans for the world to see.

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How NEOFECT Created a Smart Glove (Robotic Arm) That Uses Online Gaming for Rehabilitation

Wearable technology keeps evolving. And it is transforming the way we experience the world. Watches, eyeglasses, rings, bracelets and even smart home devices like the thermostat are changing how we consumer information, monitor our health and use home products. Smart technology has a significant role to play in how people will live in the future.

NEOFECT wants to change how to aid rehabilitation and the provision of clinicial real-time patient data. In an interview with  Scott Kim, Neofect’s co-founder and CEO of the US office, he spoke to us about how he started NEOFECT, the company’s success factors and challenges they have faced in their bid to change physical therapy using online gaming.

Brief summary about your startup

Established in 2010, NEOFECT is a mobile health startup with a vision to deliver an affordable and effective at-home system to aid neuro patients with central nervous system disorders such as a stroke.

Its first product, RAPAEL Smart Glove, combines a wearable device, virtual reality and gamification for rehab exercise, while its software analyzes the data from built-in sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level.

The device has been successfully employed by a number of major hospitals in South Korea since December of 2014, and approved for use in the US and Europe. NEOFECT has offices in S. Korea, San Francisco, and Poland.

Why and how it was started

The President of NEOFECT, Ho-Young Ban, experienced first-hand the difficulties faced by stroke patients and their families when his father and two uncles fell victims of stroke.

Although his uncles were fortunate to survive, they had to turn down the rehab therapy because of the costs involved. So, when his friend Young Choi came up with an idea of Rapael, Ban could not resist.

Soon after, their classmate from the University of Virginia’s Darden MBA program Scott Kim joined the team to launch the US operations.

Kim was born with spinal bifida and went through a surgery and a long rehabilitation process, so he immediately recognized the opportunity and became a co-founder and the CEO of the Neofect’s US office.

What has been the biggest success factors

Personal motivation of the founders combined with the latest, most advanced smart technologies have become the major engines behind the company’s success.

– Gamification, which motivates a patient throughout the rehab process. It helps to induce neuroplasticity for hand function of a patient with a brain damage.

Various rehab games are updated monthly and each game targets specific movements such as squeezing the orange for finger flexion/extension and pouring wine for forearm pronation/supination, for example.

– Artificial Intelligence: the software analyzes data from the glove’s sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level. The algorithm is designed to enhance learning multiple functions by offering an optimal task at a proper level of difficulty.

– Wearable Device: RAPAEL Smart Glove is a wearable bio-feedback training gadget. Lightweight and designed to fit different hand sizes, it uses the Bluetooth technology to collect the patient’s data.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company?

The biggest challenge was the product’s concept itself. Many people believed that Rapael could be a threat to the therapists. Fortunately, after we launched the program in several hospitals, we’ve been able to prove that our device is designed with the doctors’ and patient’s needs in mind and helps them make the rehabilitation process more efficient.

Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?

This sounds like a cliché, but the right team is easily the answer to me. With the right people, you can make necessary adjustments based on new information to make sure there is a product-market fit.

My previous job was to lead a team to make mobile apps – without any exception, all great apps loved by users were made by great teams.

Final words for those chasing the startup dream

Never underestimate the importance of execution. Many people waste their time just to validate what they think or others think, or even just to finish the conceptualization.

However, you should “fail fast” in order concentrate your efforts on building a product which has a market demand, and of course, to save time and money as well.

Plus, you should fail while you are small rather than big, if you’re meant to face it. The earlier you do the reality check, the faster you can reach your goal, although it might cost you a couple of failures at the beginning.

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