Med-tech start-up Neuronostics and the University of Plymouth earned the Partnership with Academia category at the Medilink UK Healthcare Business Awards
A collaboration looking to develop technology that will enhance the experiences of people with epilepsy, and support those caring for them, has secured a national award.
The work between med-tech start-up Neuronostics and the University of Plymouth earned the Partnership with Academia category at the Medilink UK Healthcare Business Awards.
It celebrates both their scientific research, and the technological innovations it is helping to deliver, and comes on the back of them winning the regional awards in March this year.
The prize acknowledges the strong links between Neuronostics and Professor Rohit Shankar MBE, Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Director of the University’s Cornwall Intellectual Disability Equitable Research (CIDER) unit.
They have worked closely together since the company was incorporated in 2018 and this award builds on a number of accolades the company has already won, including the Medilink National Start-Up of the Year 2020, the Tech Spark Most Innovative Use of Tech 2021, and the Falling Walls Foundation Science Venture award 2022.
The latest accolade was presented during an event held at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham, attended by almost 300 leading figures and decision-makers from across the life sciences and healthcare technology sector.
Professor John Terry, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Neuronostics, said:
“I was delighted that our collaboration was recognised through this national award. BioEP offers enormous potential to make epilepsy diagnosis faster, more accurate and more objective, increasing confidence in decision making for both clinicians and patients alike. Rohit’s enthusiasm for the development of new technology that can bring benefits to people with epilepsy make him and all the team at the University of Plymouth a pleasure to work with.”
Professor Shankar, who was made an MBE for services to people with Developmental Disabilities in Cornwall in 2018, said:
“This award is further testimony of the developing evidence that BioEP can positively influence patient early diagnosis and outcomes. It is something we will now look to build on with our partners at Neuronostics as we explore the potential for future research endeavours.”
Medilink Award
Through his clinical role as a Consultant in Developmental Neuropsychiatry at the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Professor Shankar runs a clinic for people with epilepsy who also have a learning disability.
His first work with Neuronostics was supported by an Innovate UK Health and Life Sciences grant and enabled the company to develop a platform that delivers a report to clinicians which incorporates the BioEP seizure risk score.
Building on this success, and supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research, the collaboration worked with eight NHS sites to collate the largest and most well curated database of historic electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings from people with epilepsy and those with suspected epilepsy who went on to receive an alternative diagnosis.
It comprised more than 800 recordings from 600 patients, and was able to minimize the impact of misdiagnosis that had previously hindered studies into the added value that novel biomarkers might bring to diagnostic decision support.
Using this database, the partners were able to validate its BioEP seizure risk score and found that BioEP predicted the correct diagnosis in 68 out of 100 cases. 
Neuronostics and Professor Shankar are now working together on a multisite prospective trial of BioEP, the findings of which will help to understand the impact BioEP has on the diagnostic pathway and the difference that this will make to people and care providers.

Cornwall Intellectual Disability Equitable Research – CIDER

Formally launched in October 2018 and led by Professor Rohit Shankar, Cornwall Intellectual Disability Equitable Research (CIDER) is a partnership between the University of Plymouth and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT) focusing on epilepsy in people with intellectual disabilities.
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