Editor’s Note: Cupid’s Cup is a business competition hosted by the Dingman Center at the University of Maryland. The competition is open to student and alumni entrepreneurs alike who have surpassed the business plan stage and now own and operate their very own ventures. Neural Analytics, Inc., is one of six companies competing in the Cupid’s Cup finals which will be held on April 5, 2013. To learn more about Cupid’s Cup, check out their website here.
Approximately 300,000 severe traumatic brain injuries and 1.4 million mild traumatic brain injuries occur each year. With no good way to diagnose the severity of a head trauma, many go undetected, leaving athletes and soldiers alike in hazardous, possibly critical situation. While there are CAT scans and medical techniques that involve neurosurgeons drilling into patient’s heads, there’s no portable device that can predict the severity of a head trauma today. Well, that is until now. Introducing, Rapid ICP: a revolutionary, noninvasive ultrasound technology.
How the Idea Came to Be
Growing up, Leo Petrossian spent much of his time in hospitals, taking care of his father who was perpetually in poor health. He watched as doctors cared for their patients, admiring the direct impact they had on the lives of those they treated. It was then that Petrossian realized his passion, that he wanted to do something, anything to change people’s lives for the better. After entering into the field of biomedical engineering in college, earning a PhD in nanotechnology, being involved in two biotech startups in Boston and now an MBA candidate at UCLA, Petrossian has finally found his niche in the med tech startup world.
Upon meeting cofounder Robert Hamilton after hearing him present his med technology at an event and bringing on fellow cofounder Dan Hanchey along the way, the three UCLA graduate students set out to create a product that would shake-up the med tech realm. The device that they’ve developed, Rapid ICP, allows for a handheld diagnostic assessment of Intercranial Hypertension.
How Neural Analytics, Inc.’s Rapid ICP Works
In terms of how to use Rapid ICP, the process is simple. Take the handheld device, position the ultrasound probe on the temple of the patient, and watch as it measures the speed of blood going into the brain. The device will determine the severity of the head trauma by looking for changes in cerebral blood flow velocity. Using historical data to predict the severity of a head trauma today, the Rapid ICP can provide an immediate diagnosis in as little as one minute. It’s recommended that the device be used twice: one measurement directly after the trauma and one a couple of minutes afterwards.
Why Neural Analytics, Inc. Will Take Over the World
Rapid ICP has the potential to fulfill a big unmet need for first responders who don’t have state of the art capabilities. Think about it. In 2012 alone, 175 NFL players suffered a concussion each year with the military incurring 32,000 concussions that same year. Now imagine if the Rapid ICP were on the sidelines, on the battlefield, just imagine the vast impact that one device would have on countless inflicted patients.
The practical applications are obvious, but its the innovation itself that makes Neural Analytics such an impresive startup. Taking into consideration the dilemma first responders and the military face today, Neural Analytics has developed cutting edge technology to lessen the burden on paramedics, making the world a safer place, just as Petrossian had envisioned.
How They’re Making Bank
According to Petrossian, Neural Analytics plans to sell their product to the military, ambulances, paramedics, and first responders. They hope to be able to partner with the NFL and the military to build a device that could benefit them both.
On the battlefield, Petrossian explained that Rapid ICP would be able to get soldiers the treatment they need at a much quicker pace. With the device, the military could quantitatively figure out who needs to be treated and who needs to be treated most urgently.
In the NFL, it’s not the first concussion that’s technically detrimental, it’s more often than not the second. Rapid ICP can tell if an athlete is at risk so medics can determine if a player is fit to go back onto the field.
Neural Analytics also intends to go after the humanitarian market. “It’s great for diagnosing children with cerebral malaria,” said Petrossian. The startup plans on allocating some number of devices for humanitarian applications.
Why Neural Analytics, Inc. is a Hot Startup to Watch at Cupid’s Cup
It’s the accuracy percentages alone that are enough to convince anyone of Rapid ICP’s transformative real world applications. After just one measurement, the device can, with 92 percent accuracy, determine whether a patient has a brain injury. After a second measurement a couple of minutes later, the device can, with 99.36 percent accuracy, determine whether or not a patient has a brain injury, if it’s getting worse, and how fast it’s getting worse.
If that doesn’t scream hot startup, I don’t know what does.
In terms of Cupid’s Cup, Petrossian spoke highly of the Dingman Center responsible for orchestrating the business competition and of course Kevin Plank, the all too familiar face behind Under Armour.
“We’ve gotten so much out of Cupid’s Cup that even if we walked away with nothing, we will have walked away with a lot,” explained Petrossian. “We’ve had great mentorship all along the way.”
The fact that Kevin Plank is one of the sponsors of Cupid’s Cup has also proved very beneficial for the Neural Analytics team. With Plank and Under Armour as co-sponsors of the GE NFL Brain Health Challenge, it seems as if Neural Analytics’ Rapid ICP is exactly what they’re looking for.
As mentioned before, Petrossian, Hamilton, and Hanchey’s startup is one of six in the running to win the highly coveted Cupid’s Cup hosted by the Dingman Center at the University of Maryland. If you’re interested in meeting the founder, see the product displayed in person, or just want to check out the event out of pure curiosity, make sure to RSVP for Cupid’s Cup here.