A Redwood City, Calif.startupcalled Neurotrack Technologies Inc. has created a brain health app that is helping scientists unravel the mysteries of memory, and work to find a cure for Alzheimers.
Its simple browser-based app screens users for signs of cognitive decline based on their eye movement as they watch a few images presented on their screens. Thesetests used to take about 30 minutes, and wereavailable only at the doctors office using hugely expensive equipment.
Neurotrack has been able to shrink their scans down to a 5-minute, home-based process thanks to technological advances around eye tracking technology, data analytics, machine learning and computer vision, according to the companys CEO and cofounder Elli Kaplan.
Prior to formingNeurotrack in 2012 with her cofounders, neuroscientistsStuart Zola, Elizabeth Buffalo and Cecelia Manzanares, Kaplan worked in the White House and at the United Nations on global development and health programs.
The CEO said another thing that has helped Neurotrack develop its new app wasthe spread of high quality web cameras into internet-enabled devices from laptops to tablets.
A single screening with the new Neurotrack app is now free for users around the world. Eventually, the company will charge users for long-term brain health monitoring and recommendations on how to preserve or improve their cognition.
Interestingly, Neurotracks brain scan app is language agnostic, so it doesnt require extensive translation and localization to work for doctors or patients around the world, Kaplan noted.
Cognitive decline, dementia and diseases like Alzheimers are seen at similar levels in senior populationsaround the world regardless of their economic resources.
Kaplan said, Wed love for this app to have an impact everywhere, especially in places where access to healthcare and specialized care for seniors, who are very often living on fixed incomes, is harder to get.
We think this could be equally helpful for people who are on Medicare and Medicaid in the U.S., as it is for people in developing nations who dont have local access to great healthcare, and to people who are concerned about memory in general, but may not have the ability, or even mobility, to get help, Kaplan said.
Neurotrack has raised $9.5 million in equity funding to-date and $1 million in grant funding from NIH, Johnson & Johnson and the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) to develop its technology and begin publishing some of its neuroscientific findings.
Read more: https://techcrunch.com