Prototypes developed at INESC TEC allow spin-off InSignals Neurotech to advance clinical studies in Europe

InSignals Neurotech, a spin-off of INESC TEC, will start a set of clinical studies in European hospitals, in order to expand the application and use of technology for the quantification of motor symptoms related to neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Parkinson’s disease. In this sense, INESC TEC developed prototypes that can be used during deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgeries to assess the muscular stiffness of the wrist, one of the main symptoms of the disease. 

The technology used by the company has been developed by INESC TEC since 2015 and, in addition to being used during surgery and post-surgery stages, the devices can also be used in clinical appointments for patients’ monitoring. As a result of collaboration with InSignals Neurotech and the textile company Petratex S.A., a new physical prototype of a wearable device was developed, as well as a hybrid mobile application. Both solutions will be used in the clinical trials taking place over this year, and were recently presented and delivered to the company at a work session held at INESC TEC.  

 

Prototypes can be used to assess the muscular stiffness of the wrist

“Thanks to the development of these prototypes, we will be able to start clinical studies and validate the technology in other hospitals, in addition to the Centro Hospitalar Universitário São João, in Porto. We will be able to expand the use and application of this solution to other patients, not only during DBS surgeries, but also for patients’ monitoring in clinical or home contexts”, said Sara Reis, Chief Executive of InSignals Neurotech, thus reinforcing the plan to continue the development of the technology. 

“The possibility of conducting clinical studies in partnership with hospitals in different European countries will allow us to keep getting feedback from the medical community, namely from neurologists, and even from patients, thus enabling the continuous advancement of the device to help manage the disease more efficiently and correctly”, she added.  

Duarte Dias, advisor to the coordinator of the Centre for Biomedical Engineering Research (C-BER), emphasised the close relationship between the Institute and the spinoff in the joint development of InSignals Neurotech solutions, stating that the key goal is to “always support the company at its different levels of evolution, thus promoting its growth”.  

The spin-off was established in 2019, as a result of INESC TEC’s endeavour – with the support of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário São João – in the field of Biomedical Engineering; the Frontier IP group (UK) is also a partner of InSignals Neurotech. The company develops medical devices for the quantification of motor symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases to obtain better clinical results. Recently, it benefited from an investment of €100K through the INNOV-ID call, an initiative launched by Portugal Ventures.  

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