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Meet Veena Somareddy of Neuro Rehab VR in Fort Worth

Today we’d like to introduce you to Veena Somareddy.

Veena, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My first exposure to computer science was as simple as circles and squares. In fourth grade, I learned the LOGO programming language to code simple geometric shapes, and seeing even these basic forms take on life beyond my formulaic input was wonderfully impactful. My interest was significant enough that from this early age, I began writing complex programs to draw intricate designs on a computer, and my fascination has only grown.

From this first tryst with programming, I have been struck by the interaction between graphics and programming and the infinite space the two can occupy when working in sync. Seen in the video games I spent hours (too many hours) playing throughout my childhood is this same expansion from a scientific input to an awe-inspiring world, and therein lies my motivation to create experiences and games that immerse and engage a person in the virtual world.

Biographically speaking, my academic narrative started in India at the RNS Institute of Technology for my undergraduate degree and led me to UT Dallas for my Master’s in Game Development. Virtual Reality was and is my strongest appeal, so much so because I love the dualistic nature of visual creativity and scientific programming within one modality.

Since I arrived on American soil, my dream had been to build and run a company of my own. Gaining experience through first an internship for a company in Silicon Valley, that dream has changed and grown into something beyond myself. I am a co-founder of Neuro Rehab VR, and my pursuit now is to change the convention of neurological rehabilitation.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Any story like mine has its instances of struggle, whether be administrative, financial, or personal. There are moments where its owner has to dig deep and uncover her value and grit to rise to the occasion of a dream worth fulfilling. Mine has all these and more, and the narrative around my company’s foundation is just as much one of self-discovery. The adversity only tempered my resolve and secured the mission of my company, which I hope will reflect my personal growth and advancement.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Neuro Rehab VR story. Tell us more about the business.
Each year more than 800,000 people in the United States suffer from a stroke or a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), leading to long term disability. Within minutes, a stroke can transform a person from leading a healthy independent life to needing 24/7 care and support. The chance of recovery for patients who suffer these and similar injuries is contingent upon extensive physical and cognitive training to strengthen and form new neural pathways to work around the area damaged from the trauma. But physical therapy is expensive, transportation to clinics is tiresome, and most therapy sessions are boring and repetitive.

I founded Neuro Rehab VR to create cognitive and physical therapy VR/AR training exercises that employ the concept of neuroplasticity for patients with stroke, spinal cord injury, TBI, and neurodegenerative diseases. The technology of our products is advanced and provides complete immersion and stimulating interaction. Products are tested and perfected immediately by those most affected by the outcome- patients and their physical therapists. From early development, Neuro Rehab VR has engaged in on the ground feedback to customize apps to patients. One of my pride points as the leader in research and technological development is our separation from other VR games and application; I run this company to fit and help individuals rather than creating a “one size fits all” model. To that point, individuality makes for more specific improvements. The unique input from patients and therapists makes the products of Neuro Rehab VR unable to be duplicated anywhere else.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
The bottom line for Neuro Rehab VR is persistence. My persistence through personal difficulty, to reach both short and long-term goals, and to always learn from every available source are all pieces of the same driving force. Through any obstacle, I nevertheless persist to stay on top of competition through reading, asking questions and learning from successful people.

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