Cortechs: improve attention skills of children with ADHD

Neurotechnology company Cortechs to provide parents and educators with a product that can help improve the attention skills of children with ADHD

Áine Behan, founder of Cortechs: “In the US alone, the market is valued at in excess of $130 billion.”

Áine Behan, founder of Cortechs: “In the US alone, the market is valued at in excess of $130 billion.”

Mon, Jan 13, 2014, 01:00

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic childhood condition that often persists into adulthood.

Children with ADHD may also have low self-esteem and poor performance in school. Neuroscientist and former Royal College of Surgeons research lecturer Áine Behan has been working in the area of brainwave sensing for more than 12 years.

Three months ago, she founded neurotechnology company Cortechs to provide parents and educators with a product that can help improve the attention skills of children with ADHD.

“There are limited solutions to help those working with children with attention difficulties either in the classroom, in the home or on-the-go,” Behan says.

“Our product will provide educators, healthcare professionals and parents with a reliable, evidence-based platform technology to improve attention skills.

“At the heart of our technology is a brainwave-sensing headset that connects the user’s mind and body to a game via a smart device such as a tablet. This allows us to monitor and modify focus and attention levels, and to offer encouragement and rewards as the attention span improves.”

While Behan’s first market is for those with ADHD and autism, her product also has applications in the wider digital brain health and neurogaming sectors.

“In the digital health space it can act as a platform to inform adults of their daily peak focus points, their concentration span and stress levels. It can be used in professional or personal settings to improve focus and attain a greater self-awareness about one’s mental state, thus improving one’s quality of life,” she says.

Neurotechnology market

“Neurotechnology uses electronic or engineering methods to help brain function and the neurotechnology market is global. In the US alone, the market is valued at in excess of $130 billion,” Behan adds. “Trends include breakthroughs in brain-computed interfacing, the evolution of neurogaming and associated touchless sensors, all of which have attracted investors to this space in the last few years.

“Neurotechnology is also forecast to disrupt gaming over the next five years with cheaper sensors, faster processing power and bandwidth as well as superior design talent. This, and the fact that neurotechnology and neurogaming are transitioning to mobile platforms means Cortechs’ mobile-centric focus positions us well to take advantage of global vertical markets.”

Cortechs has been self-funded to date and Behan is participating in the Enterprise Ireland-supported New Frontiers programme at the Learning and Innovation Centre at Blanchardstown IT. She is in the process of looking for seed funding to develop her company and build her team, and expects to be fully investor ready within the next six months. Behan says the product will be on the market by the end of 2014.