AI-Enabled Cognitive Assessment by Stimulated Brain Activity
Vistim Labs is a data science company using cleared medical devices to provide the world's first cognitive evaluation by brain analysis. “In detecting the first signs of neurological disorders, we accelerate patient access to care,” explains CEO James Hamet.
What problem motivated you to start the company?
“Treatment of neurodegenerative disease (e.g. Alzheimer’s Disease, AD) is often only tried for patients in late-stage decline, after years of accumulated and irreversible brain damage.
Since it may not be possible to restore lost brain function in late-stage decline, early intervention may be the best-case scenario therapeutic outcome in preserving quality of life.
Unfortunately, we lack sensitive diagnostics to identify patients at earlier disease stages, undermining prevention and treatment efforts. Therefore, we need effective and scalable diagnostics to identify at-risk patients earlier into decline to support development and delivery of treatment.”
How does Vistim Labs work?
“At Vistim Labs, we seek to measure cognitive decline to enable measuring the efficacy of emerging treatments as they pertain to clinical outcomes. To do this, we’ve developed CASBA, an EEG-based, AI-enabled, cognitive assessment to collect real-time stimulated brain activity and provide direct measurement of early, previously imperceivable changes in cognitive function.
CASBA can play an important role in clinical and research settings, where traditional cognitive evaluations often fail to detect pre-clinical conditions and detect changes in cognition over time. This is where we can provide immediate value: supporting clinical trials by making it easier to screen patients for studies and monitoring small, gradual changes in cognition during the trials.
Vistim Labs’ CASBA can already be used as a multiplexing tool and used alongside more traditional positron emission tomography (PET) and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) samples. In ongoing clinical studies, CASBA demonstrates predictive power over physiological PET-amyloid burden and psychological FCSRT-F performance. We also have preliminary results correlating with MMSE, CERAD, and TASIT.
CASBA is a non-invasive, portable, affordable platform that makes it easier to show how emerging treatments affect symptomatic onset such as notable cognitive decline. This means we can help enroll qualified participants in interventional studies and help show how an intervention interferes with the natural progression of a neurodegenerative disease and its effect on symptomatic evidence.”
What makes you different from other startups with similar solutions?
“Our vision is a new standard of care where patients, clinicians, and researchers can quickly and easily predict possible neurodegenerative disease, enabling opportunities to intervene to save individuals, families, and communities. Our mission is to increase access to care and clinical decision making ability. Our platform produces meaningful biomarkers of cognitive decline, available for measuring efficacy of treatment and predicting symptomatic onset, using functional brain activity collected via active-paradigm electroencephalography (EEG).”
What are your plans for the future? (and how can 5-HT support you)
“Vistim Labs collaborates with partners in the United States and Europe to increase the clinical meaning of our technology. The purpose of our collaborations is to further validate our method against biomarkers being studied such as PET, blood, and CSF in larger and heterogeneous populations and alongside cognitive assessments.
With further study, we seek to provide an effective clinical tool and approved medical device with demonstrated prognostic ability that can be used in the asymptomatic general population to determine the earliest signs of cognitive decline. In this way, we will know who is at risk for developing mild cognitive impairment and AD and when a therapy is optimally instituted. This device will be available worldwide in offices for general practitioners, geriatricians, and other physicians handling cognitive complaints.”
How was your overall experience with the X-Linker: Digital Health for Pharma?
“The 5-HT X-Linker Digital Health for Pharma was a very fruitful event for us. The time difference made it a little stressful since I was in the US and the event was taking place virtually in Germany, but it was worth it! Big Thank you to Lisa and the whole team for organizing such a great and inspiring event.”
Why would you recommend other startups to participate?
„If you have the opportunity and you´re selected to participate in any 5-HT X-Linker this is the most important, most impactful, most relevant type of event that you can hope for as a startup. We made numerous fruitful connections and are more than grateful to the whole 5-HT Team.”
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