What problem are you solving and what is innovative about your approach?

VERTIGENIUS is a unique medical device technology providing a new way for health care professionals (physiotherapists, doctors and audiologists) to consult with and manage patients with dizziness, vertigo and imbalance. As many as 1 in 5 adults at any given time suffer from these problems and rehabilitation (a specialised form known as vestibular rehabilitation) though effective, is difficult for patients to access, perform and monitor.

At VERTIGENIUS, we have developed and validated a new technology, combining an inertial wearable head sensor, a patient facing app and a clinician platform. During rehabilitation, the head sensor is placed behind the ear like a hearing aid and is paired via Bluetooth to a Smartphone app. The sensor gives accurate feedback on head movement, a crucial parameter for successful treatment. Using our specific algorithms, the patient is expertly guided throughout their rehabilitation programme and their clinician can, where necessary, remotely progress individual rehabilitation programmes. At present, a patient exercise program is typically a set of photocopied exercises which is followed daily, and progress is measured using pen and paper. With this traditional model there is low motivation and many patients give up or perform exercises incorrectly. It is outdated and ripe for disruption and VERTIGENIUS automates every step in the process, mirroring current care pathways and allowing remote care. The patient app can deliver exercises from a library of over 250 exercises specific to vestibular rehabilitation and includes automatic calculation of adherence and outcome measurement. It has been developed and validated by experts in the field and vast user experience in the form of patient and clinician feedback has been gained to date.

How is this idea commercially attractive?

The recent move globally, to reimburse rehabilitation delivered via tele-health services presents a significant commercial opportunity for VERTIGENIUS. Our business model is based on significant domain knowledge of the market allowing optimal, and customer validated pricing plans. As a result of COVID19, up to 80% of clinicians now report using tele-health and it is likely it will remain embedded in future rehabilitation practice. VERTIGENIUS will streamline the way clinicians run their clinics and interact with patients, offering new ways to consult with and manage patients by increasing the use of non-contact, remote interactions.

What do you hope to achieve by participating in Big Ideas?

We are delighted to have an opportunity to present at BIG IDEAS. The VERTIGENIUS platform is currently being trialled at a Dublin University Teaching Hospital and we have initial customers identified. We intend to spin out of Trinity College Dublin in early 2021 and are seeking to raise investment to grow the business.