Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies has been around since 2006 as a division of Cleveland Medical Devices, but was spun off earlier this year as a stand-alone company to focus on movement disorders. One key product, the Kinesia HomeView, is a take-home kit that guides people with Parkinson’s disease through a series of motor tests designed to help doctors see how patients respond to the medications they’ve been using.
Parkinson’s is a nervous system disorder that affects patients’ ability to move. There is no cure.
The kit includes a motion sensor worn on a patient’s finger to capture data on a prescribed series of movements, such as touching the nose and tapping the fingers. The tests provide a quantitative measurement of two major Parkinson’s symptoms, tremors and bradykinesia, a condition marked by slowness of movement.
“These symptoms can change a lot during the course of a day based on the therapies a patient is receiving,” said Joe Giuffrida, the company’s president.
The at-home test kit has obvious value for Parkinson’s patients, who can be monitored by their doctors around the clock while providing updates on their conditions through data transmitted over the Internet. For health professionals, the big advantage is the objective measurement of symptoms that the tool provides. In general, clinicians currently monitor Parkinson’s symptoms through subjective, mostly visual evaluations of symptoms in the clinic, according to Giuffrida.
Great Lakes has received the necessary regulatory approvals to sell the HomeView device in the U.S. and Europe, so the key for the company now is to reach distribution and partnership agreements that’ll help it market the product to a wider base of end users, Giuffrida said. The company sells the device to neurologists, researchers and pharmaceutical companies conducting clinical trials.
One thing the 16-employee company doesn’t need is investment funding. It’s raised about $10 million over its lifetime in grants, mainly from the National Institutes of Health, and is generating revenue through sales Giuffrida said.