Mobile app tracks neurological performance

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Highmark Interactive, a Canadian software vendor, has launched a mobile app to assess neurological performance when person is healthy, and subsequently can assess follow-up and track a variety of neurological functions if the person experiences a concussion because of a fall, or a hit in a football game, or another type of accident.

The app, called EQ-Active Brain Tracking, uses interactive mobile games to assess neurological performance to test and track neurological function. Additional tools test for anxiety and lack of sleep, among other metrics. Over time, artificial intelligence will be added to more deeply assess function.

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“By using technology, a smartphone and fun games, we can understand a person’s healthy state,” says Dr. Sanjeev Sharma, executive chairman and co-founder at Highmark Interactive. “Then, if there is a collision on the field, ice or playground, the same device can be used to run a ‘point of collision test.”

The subsequent test determines any significant variance from the person’s healthy results and limits the need to guess if someone is ok, he adds. “EQ represents the fusing of neuroscience, video games and artificial intelligence to create an entirely new paradigm in concussion management and assessment.”

Sharma emphasizes that the tool remains in development and is not a diagnostic test today, but can be an aid that a physician can use. The platform is designed to give sense of how a person is performing, be it at sports or starting a new semester in school. Tests can assess anxiety on the horizon.

The tests are actually games that individuals play that assess functions that the brain is responsible for, such as standing, walking, fine motor skills, short and slightly delayed memory recall, and motor dexterity such as standing on one leg to get a sense of balance. “The game assess all the healthy things your brain is doing today,” Sharma explain. Games assess short-term memory recall, the ability to track objects on a screen, and then the user is asked to replicate a pattern that the game presented.

Highmark Interactive has been working with the Food and Drug Administration on issues the agency wants to see clarified as it prepares to seek FDA certification. In early 2019, two studies will be complete and the company hopes to then start going through the approval process with the hope of obtaining status as a Class 2 medical device, according to Sharma.

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