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GatewayUCC announces Neurobell, part of the Gateway SPRINT Programme

15 Jan 2020
Mark O'Sullivan, Neurobell founder

GatewayUCC today announced details about Neurobell who are developing a pocket-sized EEG monitor which uses state-of-the-art electronics, artificial intelligence (AI) and signal processing algorithms. 

GatewayUCC today announced details about Neurobell who are developing a pocket-sized EEG monitor which uses state-of-the-art electronics, artificial intelligence (AI) and signal processing algorithms. The wireless and battery-powered device can be easily connected to the patient with minimal delay and complexity. The AI algorithms provide medical staff with real-time diagnostic decision-support using visual and auditory alerts. Neurobell’s solution makes EEG monitoring available to a much wider demographic of medical staff, in any setting.

Brain injury in newborns occurs in up to 2% of all births, resulting in the death or disability of over 1 million infants globally each year, making it the fifth leading cause of death in children under five. Early identification of brain injury in newborns is vital as the therapeutic window, in which treatment is most efficacious, is less than six hours after the injury.

EEG monitors are used to monitor and diagnose brain function. However, existing EEG monitors are expensive, unwieldy and complex systems that rely on highly specialised medical staff to both prepare the patient for EEG recording and to interpret the data. This inhibits the use of EEG monitoring in many hospitals that simply do not have the expertise and equipment. In the hospitals where it is available, it suffers from long delays, resulting in potentially worse outcomes for the newborns.

About Mark O’Sullivan and Gateway SPRINT programme

With the support of his PhD supervisors, Dr. Emanuel Popovici, Dr. Andriy Temko and Prof. Geraldine Boylan, Mark began exploring the potential commercial value of my PhD work and the Neurobell EEG Monitor. However, I quickly realised that commercialising Neurobell required knowledge, expertise and insight that I did not have.

Mark was accepted onto the Gateway SPRINT programme in November 2018. The first thing that struck me when beginning the SPRINT programme was the calibre of researchers from all disciplines in the programme with me, all striving to commercialise the outputs of their research. It was a great opportunity to learn in a multi-disciplinary environment, where we were encouraged to engage, practice and provide feedback on all aspects of our business ideas. Throughout the SPRINT programme, we had bi-weekly sessions where we covered topics such as accounting, funding, business models, pitching, amongst many more. Myriam does a great job finding the industry experts to cover these topics, which really accelerated the learning, helped me get up to speed and feeling confident pitching my business idea to anyone. Over the course of the programme, we had great sessions with the founders of a number of start-ups and spinouts. Having access to this insight and knowledge is extremely valuable and what I have learned in these sessions will benefit me throughout the commercialisation journey.

About Mark O’Sullivan Neurobell Founder

Mark is an IRC Postgraduate Scholar pursuing a PhD in Engineering on the Neurobell project in the Infant Research Centre and Embedded Systems Research Group.

Mark completed a Bachelors degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in UCC, where he gained interest in digital signal processing, embedded systems and audio applications. Mark obtained a Master’s of Science in Music and Technology in Cork School of Music in Cork Institute of Technology, writing a thesis on the research and development of a “smart hearing aid” that can be tuned using an android app. This spurred Mark’s interest in research, and led to him pursuing a PhD in UCC on the Neurobell project, which began as research in detecting seizures in newborns using audio signal processing methods, but quickly evolved in the research and development of a novel medical device for diagnosing brain injury in newborns.

GatewayUCC

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C/O Office of Technology Transfer, Western Gateway Building, Western Road, Cork, Ireland.

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