Early diagnosis of many neurological disorders remains a difficult clinical task. In many cases, symptoms are not clear until late in the disease progress, and it is further complicated by the fact that very few of these conditions have any physical tests of blood or urine to verify clinical suspicion and arrive at a definitive diagnosis. Not to mention the difficulty of distinguishing between different neurological disorders.
The Madrid-based startup AURA Innovative Robotics is determined to develop innovative and disruptive solutions with big impact in key areas of health systems. One of their products, OSCANN, is a diagnosis platform that help physicians significantly improve the quality of diagnosis for early stage neurological and mental disorders. The platform is a low-cost, portable device that analyze eye movements, monitoring ocular and oculocephalic movements, providing doctors in primary care, emergency rooms and hospital units a quick non-invasive test for disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Eye movements are tightly controlled by different structures of the nervous systems, and abnormal eye movements indicate the presence of neurodegeneration. Analyzing this movement not only help diagnose neurological disorders early, but provide valuable information about disease severity and progression.
With the innovative device, the probability of giving right prognosis could be up to 50% higher than with current options, and the probability of false negatives could be notably reduced. In addition, combining the eye movement examination with other clinical data increase the ability to precisely distinguish between different neurological diseases. This not only shortens diagnosis delays, but help focus on starting specific treatment as fast as possible.
The device has a disruptive potential and could be a leap forward in diagnosing neurological disorders. It can be operated by non-specialists, and give many of the most difficult disorders to diagnose a quantitative measure. Not to mention its huge potential as an objective evaluation of treatment efficacy. However, most importantly, the low-cost, portable device help increase access of care to the over 1 billion people worldwide who suffer from some kind of neurological disorder. It could significantly improve quality of life, especially in rural settings with low resources and little access to specialists.
The startup has previously been a finalist at both actúaupm, a competition organized by Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, and Pasion>ie, organized by Accenture in collaboration with Instituto de Empresa. In 2016, AURA Innovative Robotics was a semi-finalist at OneStart, the world’s largest life sciences and healthcare startup accelerator.