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Animated Language Learning Ltd

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ALL (Animated Language Learning Ltd)

Reporting period: 2018-12-01 to 2019-05-31

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behaviour. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is said to be a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life. There is no cure for autism, but there are an incredible range of treatments and therapies available for every price point, philosophy, and preference. Some are carefully researched; others are fly-by-night; still others are somewhere in between. There are tremendous disagreements about which treatments are most effective, most appropriate, most humane, most respectful, and safest.
The costs associated with Autism are immense.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports autism’s estimated prevalence among the US nation’s children, based on an analysis of 2014 medical records to be 1 in 59 children, up from 1 in 68 two years previous. The number of people with ASD is estimated at 3,540,909 in the U.S. and 604,824 in the U.K. Assuming 40 percent of those with ASD also have an ID, the aggregate national cost of supporting children with ASD was estimated at $61 billion per year in the US, and $4.5 billion per year in the UK.

The ALL technology is an evolving solution to communication deficits associated with autism and related conditions. In this, the solution is designed to address a series of issues impeding the acquisition of generalizable language. It is a fundamental attribute of the ALL intervention to provide on point and real time individualised child data. This enables a mapping of the child cognition that is rich thus enabling a fact-based intervention strategy. Extensive research into the autism condition indicates visual reasoning as the primary means of cognition. Our research through extensive multi-geography trials involving some 500 families, indicates that this cognition can be accessed through visually rich animation from studios such as Disney Pixar.

The ALL system achieves this by isolating thousands of individual concepts in context from Disney Pixar (or other studio) features. These are converted into visual questions comparing a stimulus question to other concepts drawn from the child’s pervading eco system. This process combined with quantitative recording of decision path, time taken, typed response among other factors are extensively. This provides an unprecedented profile of the child’s visual reasoning.


ALL language development: The ALL system possesses a remarkable assessment capability providing unprecedented insight into the needs of the autistic child. This assessment data is intended to be subsumed into ALL’s computer systems in the cloud where it is processed. It is then intended to be individualized into visual stimulus to the child anywhere there is an internet connection. In doing this the system addresses the core deficit of the autistic child, that is, the development of rich and age appropriate visual concepts.
We have completed our Phase 1 Study, which comprises 5 tasks, the output of which is summarised in our 20 page report.

Objectives:
1. Validation of the business case including validation of market needs and acceptable pricing levels
2. Identify key stakeholders (sales, distribution and licensing partners) to support commercialisation
3. Validation of the technical feasibility of the actions required to take ALL to TRL9
4. To develop a stringent IP protection strategy that will ensure ongoing security of exploitation of IP
5. To develop a strong business case for ALL

Description of work:
Task 1: Validation of customer demand.
We have carried out detailed competitive products review, including application and performance assessments. We have quantified market opportunities and end-user requirements, assessed volume potential and price point. We have benchmarked ALL against existing approaches and identified key selection criteria for business to business and business to customer end-users. We have carried out voice of customer work existing and new customers or trial users of our software
Output: A market report detailing market needs, market opportunities, and price levels for inclusion in the Phase 2 Proposal. Feedback from end users to refine and validate the product

Task 2: Identify key stakeholders.
We have engaged with educators, schools and tutors to understand their delivery needs
We have engaged distribution partners and customers in key European markets to develop long-term partnerships in terms of delivery of the product and market development
We have engaged with government agencies in Europe responsible for special needs education and care
Output: Key stakeholders and subcontractors have been identified to build the necessary project skills

Task 3: Detailed project plan for commercial scale up and Phase 2.
We have reviewed technical feasibility and produces a detailed product specification
We have planned technical requirements for a large increase in demand including production capacity
we have prepared a full project plan for the Phase 2 project
Output: Detailed, fully costed project plan to take ALL from current position to market ready

Task 4: Intellectual property and commercialisation strategy.
We have conducted an IP assessment of proposed developments including a freedom to operate search.
We have examined ALL’s existing patents to determine opportunities for development.
We have determined novel and patentable features of ALL and opportunities for exploitation.
We have developed an exploitation and commercialisation strategy for the first 5 years of sales.
Output: A report detailing the IP position and commercialisation strategy for inclusion in the Phase 2 Proposal

Task 5: Business Plan elaboration.
The senior management of ALL have used the results from Tasks 1-4 to elaborate a comprehensive business plan. This plan details the necessary levels of investment, resource, distribution channels and key product offering and strong financial and investor plan to progress from traction, to growth, to scale and global penetration
Output: A detailed business plan with a 5 year forecast detailing commercialisation strategy.
Competitive products review

There are no products currently in the market which offer the level of diagnostic or therapeutic benefits of ALL, nor do they focus on the core needs of the autistic child as in Animated Language Learning. There is however an array of disparate incumbents pervading the theatre.

Tests and assessment

Pearson dominate the child assessment sector, having acquired the majority of entities providing these tools. These tools were created prior to the computer age and internet with their genesis dating as far back as the 1800’s. They are difficult to implement, require highly skilled testers, provide limited information and can be deployed infrequently, typically annually. Combined costs for independent testing are in the range of $1200 – $2000 per child / assessment. Where these tests are provided free by public services, they represent a major first step in the parent’s loss of control in the defining of the child’s future development path. Parents describe assessments as among the worst experiences in their lives and tend to delay taking this step given the reluctance to have their child labelled in a manner that limits their educational options.

Language development interventions

There is no universally accepted intervention to address autism nor the communication deficits at its core. Rather, a disparate and confusing array of options exist, none of which offer a positive outcome to the disability. The dominant treatment strategies primarily accept the lifelong nature of Autism’s deficits and focus on behaviour management. Examples of this include the Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) interventions, Teacch Autism programs and similar intervention models. Clinical approaches such as speech and language pathology equally fail to address the core deficits of autism being the development of rich visual concepts to which language can be connected. There are no accepted medical interventions for autism.

Further, the costs associated with these and other interventions are enormous, predicated on a heavy reliance on professionally delivered services which are neither understood nor deliverable by parents. Despite vast and escalating spending by parents and public payers alike, it is considered that the area is underfunded with constant upward pressure on the cost of service delivery. As a result, public payers have built substantial legal mechanisms to limit parental litigation seeking effective interventions for their children.

Summary

This competitive landscape is ripe for disruption with an extraordinary opportunity to enable parents to take control of their children’s developmental needs, dramatically improve autism outcomes and vastly reduce costs in the sector. These outcomes have been extensively verified in clinics, schools and most importantly in the homes of Autistic families.

Parents have substantially organized through non-profit advocacy groups such as Autism Speaks, and similar organizations structured at national levels around the world. They are aggressively seeking an effective solution to their needs and would rapidly adopt the ALL solution given its extraordinary benefits over the status quo.

It has been conservatively estimated that there are some 1.5 million autistic children in the US and a further 1.7 million in the EU with total sector spending exceeding $400 billion. The business opportunity presented by the ALL solution is enormous.
ALL team