MENLO PARK, Calif. and EDMONTON, Alberta, June 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Silicon Valley, California and Calgary, Alberta based precision medicine technology pioneer PROTXX and the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta today announced a new research collaboration that will leverage the PROTXX precision healthcare platform for remote personalized health management of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
The PROTXX precision healthcare platform integrates wearable sensor and machine learning innovations to replace bulky and expensive clinical equipment and time-consuming testing procedures for a variety of neurodegenerative medical conditions in which patients suffer from impairments to multiple physiological systems. PROTXX solves the difficult problem of identifying and quantifying these multiple different impairments, disrupting diagnosis and treatment with easy-to-use, low-cost, precision patient assessments.
MS is an autoimmune inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that causes progressive disability in motor, visual, sensory, autonomic, and cognitive functions. The prevalence of MS in Canada is among the highest reported in the world, affecting over 100,000 Canadians and costing the Canadian healthcare system close to one billion dollars per year. Moreover, MS is on the rise in Canada, predominantly amongst women, and is the leading cause of neurological disability amongst people ages 20-40 years. MS has been dubbed "Canada's disease" by Maclean's (April 27, 2015).
The University of Alberta and PROTXX have been awarded a Mitacs Accelerate grant to support post-doctoral research fellows participating in the project in 2020-2021. Project co-leads at the University of Alberta are:
Hossein Rouhani, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator in the Neuromuscular Control & Biomechanics Laboratory, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (Faculty of Engineering), and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (Faculty of Medicine).
Dr. Chester Ho, MD. - Professor and Division Director, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry).
Prof. Hossein Rouhani commented: "Healthcare provider lockdowns triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the significant benefits of wearable devices that can expand virtual healthcare and remote patient monitoring for many different medical conditions, and MS is a very high-priority due to its high incidence in Alberta and across Canada. We are excited to be teaming with PROTXX to develop a user-friendly, low cost, and medical-grade wearable sensor system to enable earlier detection of MS symptoms, expand personalized remote health monitoring of MS patients, and reduce the frequency and costs of hospital visits."
Dr. Chester Ho added: "This is a very timely investigation into the application of remote personalized health monitoring in rehabilitation medicine, starting with MS patients here in Edmonton, but with significant opportunities to enhance healthcare outcomes for other important rehab populations such as stroke and concussion. Our final goal is to help drive implementation of remote personalized healthcare technologies in rehabilitation centers across Canada."
PROTXX CEO and Founder, John Ralston, stated: "We are excited to announce this new collaboration and the supporting Mitacs funding. The University of Alberta's world-class combination of clinical MS research and neuromuscular biomechanical engineering will enhance and accelerate our ability to commercialize innovative new precision healthcare solutions that improve the diagnosis and treatment of complex medical conditions such as MS, by enabling more frequent, individualized, quantitative, and remote assessments of impairment severity and response to treatment and rehabilitation."
Crystal Phillips, MS patient, co-founder of the Calgary-based Branch Out Neurological Foundation, and Health Lead at Calgary-based Thin Air Labs shared her support for the project: "By enabling more frequent collection and sharing of personalized health information, PROTXX is empowering patients to take control of their health and healing journey and filling the gap between conventional and unconventional treatments for neurological disorders. From my patient, fundraising, and funding perspectives, I'm encouraged and excited to see PROTTX's innovative approach to measuring and managing neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis."
About PROTXX, Inc. (http://protxx.com/)
PROTXX develops clinical grade wearable sensors that enable rapid non-invasive classification and quantification of neurological, sensory, and musculoskeletal impairments resulting from fatigue, injury, disease, and aging. The company's large proprietary data sets have been used to develop and train machine learning models that can automate analytical tasks such as classifying specific medical conditions based upon their unique impairment signatures. PROTXX customers and partners in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and Japan are helping healthcare payers rein in costs, providers improve quality of care, and consumers gain greater access to higher quality care and improved outcomes. PROTXX innovations have been recognized with numerous industrial, academic, and government awards.
About University of Alberta Neuromuscular Control & Biomechanics Laboratory (NCBL) (https://www.ncbl.ualberta.ca/)
Research at the NCBL is centered on human mobility and performance, with the overall goal of enhancing the quality of life of individuals affected by movement impairments and age-related decline. With a strong focus on biomechanical engineering and interdisciplinary collaborations, NCBL teams aim to positively impact prevention and rehabilitation by: gaining a better understanding of the neuromusculoskeletal mechanisms of human movement; developing novel systems and outcome measures for movement and performance assessment; and designing and evaluating advanced assistive technologies. NCBL also fosters strong collaborations with companies, rehabilitation centers, athletic teams and other research teams across Canada.
About Mitacs (https://www.mitacs.ca/en)
Mitacs is a key link between industry and post-secondary institutions, driving collaborations at home and abroad to develop projects which solve business challenges and develop Canada's innovation capacity. Mitacs is passionate about developing the next generation of researchers helping to fuel Canada's knowledge-based economy.
John Ralston, President & CEO, PROTXX Inc.
email: [email protected]
SOURCE PROTXX Inc