ADHD affects 5-7 % of children worldwide. The disorder’s main hallmarks are inattentiveness, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Undiagnosed ADHD can cause severe learning, social and health difficulties at any age. When not treated, ADHD can lead to learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, addictions and antisocial behaviour. The EU-supported project, MOXO-Mobile Phase-1, studied the high prevalence (around 5 % but low diagnosis around 1 %) of ADHD in the United Kingdom (UK) to develop a solution for early diagnosis and treatment. Results showed that, as an ADHD diagnosis could take 1-2 years, parents need support during this wait. Neurotech Solutions developed SeeMe Mobile as a tool for doctors to both screen for ADHD and, if positive, fast-track patients for a paediatrician diagnosis. EU funding enabled the team to confirm the gap in the market and to develop a marketing strategy that will initially target doctors and the UK’s National Health Service.
Remote diagnosis, treatment and support
In the majority of cases, ADHD is treated with medication, albeit with significant side effects, such as sleeping and eating disorders. Yet, studies show that a combination of medication, psychological intervention and parental guidance yield the best results for patients. “Without the proper training, patients will struggle with their symptoms and so will rely on medication,” says Ohad Lavi, CEO of Neurotech Solutions. “We took advantage of recent trends in healthcare for smart devices that offer diagnosis, treatment and support.” The project is developing a game-based attention test for ADHD designed for mobile phones. The SeeMe solution will use machine learning to adapt the test to individual users and will access a device’s in-built camera to track micro head and eye movements, as an additional biological marker – the first tool to do so. Users press the screen in a designated area every time they see a specific icon. The task becomes more complex as visual and auditory distractions are introduced. Test results will be featured in a screen profile for each user, which will indicate the presence of attention deficits, as well as suggest features and services to help. These include access to a market place for relevant apps or games, as well as nutrition and mindfulness apps and tailored recommendations addressing needs related to education, relationships or occupations.
Meeting a need
A desktop version of the product was piloted in Israel, with promising results such as a click-through rate of 28 % on Google and conversion rate of 3.2 %. The team ran two focus groups in the UK, with a mix of eight teens with ADHD and parents who were not related to them in each group. This was augmented with an online survey of 500 parents. “Most parents hadn’t heard of a computerised test for ADHD, but would be willing to use one if endorsed by their GP or the NHS,” explains Lavi. As well as helping patients and parents manage symptoms while waiting for a diagnosis and afterwards, the SeeMe solution could save healthcare resources by reducing the need to arrange multiple medical visits. The mobile version is planned for launch by 2023 after clinical piloting. To achieve this, the team are currently seeking further funding and will soon open an investment round for SeeMe2.0.
MOXO-Mobile Phase-1, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, diagnosis, machine learning, attention test, inattentiveness, impulsivity, hyperactivity