Speech therapy app launched in Caerphilly

A Caerphilly-based technology company has developed a new app to help people suffering from communication difficulties.

Cog-Neuro Speech Therapy Limited received a £25,000 loan from the Development Bank of Wales and a £60,000 grant from Innovate UK to create the app.

The software helps people with communication difficulties to regain their ability to communicate, maintain relationships and re-integrate into the community.

Founded by speech therapist Sheiladen Montero Aquino, it is targeted at people who experience comm difficulties after a stroke, brain injury and other progressive neurological disorders.

The application uses gamification and stealth learning to help patients improve their listening, speaking, reading, writing and thinking skills, as well as encouraging interactivity and concentrated attention.

Montero Aquino said: “Throughout my international practice in speech therapy, I have wanted to develop an innovative treatment that will help people communicate again after a stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s or Dementia.

“The Innovate UK funding helped develop the mobile software but we still needed additional finance. Business Wales introduced me to Rhiannon Brewer at the development bank – she understood our business and showed a sincere desire for our success.  She guided me through the process and we received the funds promptly. We found a reliable partner for this journey!

“I’m grateful to the Development Bank of Wales, Business Wales and Innovate UK for their excellent support throughout.”

Rhiannon Brewer, a senior investment executive with the Development Bank of Wales, added: “Working in partnership with other funders and business support organisations to help ambitious and passionate business owners to succeed is what we do best.

“Each company we work with is different and every deal is bespoke. So, I was particularly pleased to work with Business Wales and Innovate UK to offer a funding package that really is making a difference to the business whilst improving people’s lives.

“The new product from Cog-Neuro will help to benefit some of the 15,500 people in Wales who are estimated to suffer with severe speech and communication problems. It’s very rewarding to know that our micro loan is now helping to ensure that people will receive the care  they need to support independence and quality of life.”