Houston-based BrainCheck, developer of a mobile neurocognitive assessment platform, has raised $1.5 million to expand sales, distribution channels, and research opportunities for its product. True Wealth Ventures led the latest round, which, together with the company’s previous raise of $3 million, brings BrainCheck’s total to $4.5 million.
BrainCheck was established in 2014 in a mission to replace pen and paper methods of measuring brain health, as well to bring neurocognitive assessments to people who otherwise might not have access, such as student athletes. The company’s product is based on research from cofounder David Eagleman’s lab at Stanford University and consists of iPad or desktop games to measure reaction time, visual processing, cognitive process, coordination, and memory. The app works by first establishing baseline brain function, and then later checks brain performance following an injury and during recovery.
“Our vision is to empower people everywhere to take control of their cognitive health by making our platform accessible, simple, and interactive. As a result of this funding, we are now able to accelerate our growth, expand our channels, and deliver on our promise of democratizing brain health,” Dr. Yael Katz, BrainCheck CEO and cofounder, said in a statement. “Whether the concern is a head injury, memory loss, or cognitive impairment, we’re scaling our ability to deliver rapid and reliable cognitive health monitoring for families, caregivers, and clinicians to positively affect change and improve outcomes.”
The company is part of the growing cadre of entrepreneurs and researchers working to make brain health assessments more available. Last August, software company ImPact was granted de novo FDA clearance for concussion assessment apps, and in November, GE Healthcare and NFL team Houston Texans sponsored a two-year pilot project using telemedicine to treat concussions among rural-dwelling. high school athletes.
BrainCheck is also positioning its product as a means of making research more inclusive. The company and its investors cited the high prevalence of brain trauma in women – concussions are 1.5 times more common in females than males, but most research on the condition is conducted on men. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Association has also pointed to research gaps on dementia in women even though two-thirds of the estimated 5.5 million people living with the condition are women.
Kerry Rupp, a general partner at True Wealth Ventures who will join BrainCheck’s board of directors, said her firm was attracted to the female leadership at the company and the implications it has for expanding research to be less male-centric.
“The accumulation of women impacted by cognitive health conditions, either directly or as primary caretakers, lends a clear advantage to women healthcare leaders to better serve the needs of today’s female patients,” Rupp said in a statement. “In the United States, women make over 80 percent of healthcare decisions for their families. Using BrainCheck to monitor their cognitive health, women and their families are more prepared to understand and track what is happening in their brain and act on that information.”