Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Cohen partnership advances wearables and home sensors for brain disorder monitoring

Steve Rogerson
October 10, 2017
Massachusetts-based Cohen Veterans Bioscience is partnering the Early Signal Foundation to advance the use of wearable and home sensors for real-time monitoring of patients with trauma-related and other brain disorders.
Early Signal Foundation, a non-profit organisation focused on health products for rare disorders and underserved populations, will provide an affordable analytical system to record and integrate behavioural, cognitive, physiological and contextual data.
Real-time, individualised monitoring is central to improving diagnosis and management of neuropsychiatric conditions. Today, the vast majority of patients receive only sporadic treatment and monitoring; it may be too late to provide effective treatment by the time clinicians become aware that a patient's condition has progressed or relapsed. Wearables and other devices can provide continuous information by allowing patients to track variables such as sleep, physical activity, stress and substance use.
This partnership combines Early Signal's expertise in machine learning and unstructured data analysis with the implementation and validation capabilities of Cohen Veterans Bioscience.
"We could not think of a better partner than Cohen Veterans Bioscience to develop and optimise our analytical tools," said Daniela Brunner, president of Early Signal Foundation.
An estimated 7.8 per cent of Americans experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives. Each year, an estimated 1.4 million people in the USA sustain a brain trauma leading to traumatic brain injury (TBI). Most individuals with trauma-related brain disorders suffer from sleep disturbances such as insomnia. The known impacts of insomnia on quality of life, productivity, co-morbidity complication and more, make developing proven interventions a critical unmet need for those experiencing these issues.
A separate partnership with Swiss company MyHealios aims to develop the first combined biosensor, wearables and telehealth platform for these brain disorders with a focus on trauma-associated sleep disorders. MyHealios is a telehealth services company that provides therapeutic sessions by clinicians remotely, one-on-one, in an interactive format using videoconference or over the telephone.
The combined platform, called Circady will provide telehealth delivery of cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) using mobile, wearable and home sensor technologies to drive personalised and precision-driven feedback to the therapist and the patient alike to deliver data-driven improved outcomes.
"Early intervention is critical to pre-empt disease progression associated with physical or emotional trauma," said Cohen Veterans Bioscience CEO and president Magali Haas. "The ability to track health in a systematic and comprehensive way will allow us to define individual health trajectories and customise treatment. We plan to extend the platform to incorporate an online portal for direct engagement with patients, their families and caregivers."
MyHealios was founded in Switzerland in 2012 by caregivers of patients with mental illness. The company expanded in 2014 into the USA where there is a need for high quality, accessible patient and caregiver training and support. Over time, MyHealios has gained expertise while achieving impact with local communities as well as treatment centres across the USA.