Robert Schmidt, Chairman & CEO, Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies
Almost one million people in the US and more than 10 million worldwide are affected by the Parkinson’s disease alone. Pioneering the latest biomedical advancements, Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies (GLNT) acts as a catalyst to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from movement disorders around the world. Going a step further from the qualitative Uniform Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), GLNT has developed a quantitative process which enables patients to effectively monitor their symptoms and provides doctors with a better baseline in alleviating them. “Our goal is to drive change in the entire process of quantifying movement disorders,” asserts Robert Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies.
Two examples of that are GLNT’s Kinesia and BioRadio product lines. The Kinesia ONE evaluates patient symptoms such as tremor, bradykinesia, and dyskinesia through a small finger sensor which communicates and shares the data with an iPad app. Through a series of tests completed throughout the day, “Patients can analyze different movement disorder symptoms in the comfort of their home without a clinician standing close by,” elucidates Schmidt. The acquired data, which directly correlates to the UPDRS scale, is then uploaded to the doctor to possibly modify the prescription with more accurate information. .
Furthermore, the Kinesia 360 differs in the sense that it is simply worn on the patient’s wrist and ankle during the day and all of the data is uploaded without having to complete any tests, as in the case of Kinesia ONE. What is even more impressive is that its software can discern if specific movements are general daily activities like folding laundry and driving or if they are, in fact, movement disorder problems such as tremor or slowness as the patient moves.
Patients can analyze different movement disorder symptoms in the comfort of their home without a clinician standing close by
“Building on that, large drug companies can use that data to improve the efficacy of their drugs during clinical studies,” states Schmidt.
The other GLNT product line is the BioRadio, a wearable electrophysiology device that is completely programmable for specific uses. The specific configuration can be changed at any time. Combining that with different signal processing and software options, it provides an ideal solution for clinical trials, research labs, and teaching.
One of GLNT’s key differentiators in the market is the fact that they have 40 patent assets globally, 17 of which were issued in the US. By having patenting as a core competency, GLNT is regarded as the go-to company for medical device development among clients. According to Schmidt, the goal is to build a patent fortress. “Not only are we patenting the device, but the uses and parameters of it, as well. As an example, if a parameter has a value more than x, we’re claiming that because no one else has ever done that before,” he explains.
Further down the line, Schmidt emphasizes the team’s dedication to keeping patent families alive by always filing continuations of patents. This ability to build not just one but multiple “patent fortresses”, provides multidimensionality and an added layer of protection with each patent family. Needless to say, having sales on all seven continents only speaks about the quality and customer trust behind every product in GLNT’s chamber. “As we continue to innovate, validate, and implement our solutions, we believe we can change patient lives one-by-one and push biomedical discovery into the future,” concludes Schmidt.