Out of a host of engaging and enjoyable moments at Front Line Genomics’ recent Data Driven Drug Development (D4) conference, held in Cambridge on 20-21 March, one of the most memorable was definitely the triumph of nQ Medical in our Innovation Showcase, beating out three other high-quality contenders for the claim of “Technology that will have the greatest impact on drug development and/or healthcare”. 

As an organisation, nQ Medical focuses on integrating AI and machine learning (ML) into practical healthcare. Their work studying how humans interact with their personal devices led them to determine that user devices, such as smart phones and laptops, can be used to predict with incredible accuracy the presence of neurodegenerative disorders, and that harnessing that data could be hugely useful for clinical trials and patient outcomes.

At nQ’s talk, “AI and the Rx Life Cycle” – a discussion of their ML platform and its ability to collect patient data from user devices, such as smart phones an laptops, to help doctors identify diagnoses early and remotely, monitor the progression of disease and measure how medications are impacting and aiding patients who suffer from these neurodegenerative diseases.

Richie Bavasso, CEO of nQ Medical Inc, commented: “At nQ Medical, we believe it’s time to shift focus to the patient. The patient is essential and so is their data. We’ve made a shift from biased self-reporting to passive, real-world data collection, from subjective analysis to objective measures. We collect data from patients early, continuously, and passively, by meeting them where they live, in the real world. We use leading-edge machine learning and validate it in peer-reviewed, clinically proven studies. We make it available to brain health providers, at high resolution, around the clock. By partnering with the best clinicians and pharmaceutical companies in the world, we can better understand how to detect and manage neurodegenerative diseases. We believe early detection will lead to better brain health. And that will lead to fundamentally better lives.”

nQ’s AI detects psychomotor impairment found in neurodegenerative diseases by analysing components such as keystroke timing and pressure on a touch screen. No information on what is typed is captured, and no propriety hardware is required for the technology to work.

The D4 audience used polling and data-capture app Slido to overwhelmingly vote for nQ’s technology as the most innovative technology presented. Slido was used innovatively throughout the event to field audience questions, run polls and network between our professional audience.

That’s not to say, of course, that the other contestants in our showcase did not garner huge respect for their great talks and fascinating technologies: Gabe Musso of Biosymetrics, Maria Simbirsky of DNA Nexus and Melissa R Landon of Schrodinger all gave phenomenal talks, and each certainly gained a respectable portion of the vote.

nQ Medical received a bottle of champagne for its victory, and of the course the much more important distinction of being D4’s most innovative breakthrough technology affecting data-driven drug development.