NIH pours $3M into portable brain injury scanner from Neural Analytics

Stroke and brain injury diagnostic specialist Neural Analytics scored a $3 million cash infusion from the National Institutes of Health to help fund the development of a portable brain monitoring platform.

LA-based Neural Analytics, which began its operation in 2013, focuses on brain conditions such as traumatic injury, acute ischemic stroke and dementia. The company licensed technology from UCLA to screen for these conditions and is working to commercialize its products.

The funding will go toward a clinical validation study of its main development: a wearable device that uses ultrasound to detect abnormalities in the brain. The idea is to have first responders and emergency room physicians use the device to assess mild to severe traumatic brain injury on the go, when it is most important to act quickly.

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And as a portable device, Neural Analytics’ tech enters a field that has garnered significant attention because of sports injuries, particularly in football. The company’s website features images of football players, bikers and American soldiers to imply future uses.

“We need a portable tool to effectively look inside the brain and determine the extent of disease to help us significantly advance brain health in the 21st century,” UCLA chief of neurosurgery Neil Martin, who is a clinical adviser to Neural Analytics, said. “When approved by the FDA, these types of portable devices will revolutionize medical care by assisting physicians and first responders to quickly evaluate brain health and expedite treatment for many patients.”

In December last year, the company picked up a $10 million Series A round to back clinical testing and development of the device.

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