AI-Powered Neurological Assessment Tool Wins Innovation World Cup at MEDICA

By Michael Barbella, Managing Editor | 11.21.22

Talking glasses, fertility tracker, heart rhythm trackers among world cup inventions vying for partnerships and prizes at the trade show.

Poets have long regarded them as windows to the soul, but the eyes can be an effective portal to the mind as well.
A Belgian company is using natural eye movements to both assess neurocognitive health and detect neurodegenerative disorders. ViewMind’s patented digital biomarker software can identify minor deviations in oculomotor patterns, quantify them, and link them to specific pathologies, neurocognitive functions, and related areas of the brain. The firm’s technology measures neurocognitive resources and brain changes, comparing with fMRI, EEG, and pathological biomarkers such as CSF, blood assays, and amyloid-PET.
ViewMind worked with various academic institutions, hospitals, research facilities, and pharmaceutical companies over an 18-year period to develop its eye movement tracking innovation. Clinical study results indicate the artificial intelligence-enabled technology can detect familial Alzheimer’s disease 18 years before the onset of symptoms.
ViewMind’s solution is approved for use in Europe and could debut in the United States next year (the company currently is working toward FDA Breakthrough Device Designation status).
The firm bolstered its European profile last week by capturing first place at the 14th Healthcare Innovation World Cup in Düsseldorf, Germany. Taking place at MEDICA, the world’s largest medical trade fair, the Innovation World Cup Series is a global open innovation platform for supporting breakthrough innovations and connecting entrepreneurs with international tech corporations.
Initiated by Navispace GmbH in 2003, the Innovation World Cup Series includes various partners: STMicroelectronics, EBV Elektronik, Wurth Elektronik, AIG, VARTA Microbattery, and others.
More than 300 applicants submitted proposals for this year’s World Cup competition. The contest’s organizers narrowed that total to 12 finalists.
Runner-up to ViewMind was MobileODT, an Israeli firm that built a digital mobile colposcope powered by AI and telehealth components. EVA VisualCheck uses AI and machine learning to assess for normal and abnormal cervical findings, providing results with the accuracy of experts in less than a minute. The company has already reportedly used EVA VisualCheck to save the lives of 9,000 women.
Coming in third place at the World Cup competition was WHEELSTAIR, a Polish company that invented a “wheelchair add-on” for traversing stairs. The product is compatible with most manual wheelchairs, including both the conventional (folding) kind and light, long-distance chairs.
The nine other finalists in the 14th Healthcare Innovation World Cup were:
  • AURIMOD GmbH: An Austrian firm that developed a minimally invasive chronic pain management system (VIVO) based on auricular vagus nerve stimulation. The company was founded in 2015 as a spin-off of the Medical University of Vienna and TU Wien.
  • BrainTrip Ltd.: A Malta firm that created an AI-optimized EEG-based biomarker for early dementia screening. Its Brain Dementia Index is based on modern neuroscience and computer algorithms, collecting brainwave data and returning a score from 0 to 100. Lower scores indicate the onset of dementia’s early stages.
  • breathe ilo GmbH: The Austrian inventor of a fertility tracker that uses breath analysis to identify and track women’s ovulation patterns and fertility windows. A digital calendar helps users keep track of their cycles.
  • ECG 247: The German innovator of a medically certified sensor for continuous and long-term heart rhythm monitoring. The company’s sensor provides feedback to users in real time and immediate notifies them if possible heart rhythm disorders are detected. ECG data is uploaded directly to a secure cloud storage and is easily accessible for healthcare professionals.
  • HammTek oy: A Finland-based firm that developed a tooth monitoring tool. Its AI-optimized technology is trained to detect any anomalies in teeth like human dentists. Users who detect an abnormality with their teeth can consult the application’s service or follow up with their own dentists.
  • Mane Biotech GmbH: A German company that offers stem cell technology for regrowing hair (reawakens hair stem cells to stimulate growth). The solution is supported by more than 18 years of research in regenerative medicine, software, and engineering.
  • Netsensing Technology: The Swiss developer of a home sleep apnea testing device that combines precise and unique data fusion with a patented method to detect the condition. Patient thoracic and abdominal respirations, blood oxygen saturation, heart rate, respiratory effort, and body position are recorded and processed in real-time during sleep. The device uses these recordings to produce a report for clinicians.
  • OrCam Technologies: The Israeli creator of OrCam MyEye PRO, a wearable device for blind or severely visually impaired individuals. A 2022 CES Innovation Awards Honoree in both the Accessibility and Health & Wellness categories, the MyEye PRO mounts on eyeglasses and audibly communicates visual information to the wearer. It can read print and digital text from any surface, recognize faces, and identify products/bar codes, money, and colors.
  • PulseOn: A Finland company that built an arrhythmia monitoring system featuring a wrist-worn device and data management service. The wrist device monitors pulse rate during periods of no motion, and allows patients to take instant ECG measurements. The monitor can be worn seven days without recharging and is fully rechargeable in two hours. The device monitors pulse constantly during no-motion periods and recommends an ECG measurement upon irregular rhythm detection.