Early Signal Foundation’s “Wireless Program”
About the Early Signal Foundation
Early Signal is a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Daniela Brunner that is centered on universal, yet personalized, health-monitoring solutions based on wearable and smart devices that generate extensive real-time biometric data.
Based on the belief that health is a fundamental right, the aim of Early Signal is to offer technologies that will open up patient healthcare data silos. Real-time and individualized disease monitoring is central to rapidly evolving medical sciences and technologies. However, for the vast majority of patients, monitoring of disease progression and treatment are only being done in an irregular and discontinuous fashion. Consequently, disease progression and relapse are often allowed to proceed too far before they are detected, compromising the possibility of any effective treatment.
Partnership with Cohen Veterans Bioscience
Early Signal is an Alliance Partner of Cohen Veterans Bioscience, which funds the PTSD study and provides sponsorship for related activities. The Alliance Partner Spotlight on the Early Signal Foundation, along with a description of their Integrated Data Capture System, can be found in the May 2016 issue of The Arrow.
Early Signal – Wireless Program
While occasional doctor visits may be sufficient for many individuals to prevent or treat ailments, an unmet need exists for those who would benefit from a more continuous health assessment. For example, over 600,000 people in the U.S. alone live with the daily burden of a CNS or brain cancer diagnosis. Without a straightforward method for tracking disease progression, challenges exist in reliably assessing health. Similarly, brain cancer patients who have undergone surgery would benefit from an early warning system, indicating recurrence of the cancer and metastases.
The Early Signal Foundation is aiming to transform health care through the innovative use of data analytics and wearable devices, thereby addressing this unmet need. We believe the future lies in the ability to continuously monitor patient data in real time and under natural circumstances at the home. Using commercially-available wearable technologies, we continuously record many different physiological responses, such as activity, mobility, sleep-patterns, respiration, heart rate and cognitive function, as these may change over time and in response to treatment or disease.
While one parameter, e.g. heart rate, may mean little when monitored in isolation, measuring many parameters in concert may provide valuable information on a patient’s health status. For instance, the reappearance of a brain tumor could lead to subtle changes in attention along with small deviations in gait and disturbed sleep architecture. We refer to this as “a multi-domain assessment” which is required to individualize diagnosis or treatment.
Early Signal is further interested in monitoring the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in reducing insomnia due to PTSD, TBI, major depression disorder, and neurodegenerative disease. Early Signal’s analytics platform will provide individualized comprehensive feedback to ensure effectiveness of the therapy.
Overall, the Early Signal Foundation is developing a proprietary data analytics platform that, in concert with existing wearable device technology, will be able to create a subject-specific idiosyncratic healthcare status. Our analytics suite is agnostic to the type of data, and handles unstructured, continuous, and passive data from any wearable or home sensor without bias. The analytics suite can be tuned to specific disease signatures at both the group and individual level as well as queried to find clinical predictors. Rather than developing a specific algorithm for a specific disorder, Early Signal is using ensemble information – that is, our system relies on a conglomerate of algorithms that can be integrated into a unique solution.
We envision our technology can be used in hospitals, clinical trials, and in telehealth to augment existing therapies and predict adverse events. Through our data, individuals will be able to continuously track their health status, which will inform and empower patients and caregivers by facilitating their control over medical decisions.
About Daniela Brunner
Daniela Brunner, PhD, is Board Director and Chairperson, and the Founder and President, of the Early Signal Foundation. Dr. Brunner received her PhD from Cambridge University, did post-doctoral work at Columbia University, and had a lab at CUNY before joining PsychoGenics Inc. in 1999 as Director R&D, and later as Senior Vice President, until 2015. Dr. Brunner worked on developmental, psychiatric, and neurodegenerative disease models for +20 years, and introduced computer vision and machine learning techniques to the study of behavioral signatures for phenotyping, drug screening, and systems biology projects.
Dr. Brunner serves also as scientific leader for the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, for which she set up a consortium of industry and academia to accelerate the development of therapeutics for this devastating disorder. As head of the Early Signal Foundation, Dr. Brunner aims to establish analytical systems that integrate human behavioral and “omics” readouts for health care and monitoring with a focus on rare disorders and the underserved population, groups that may not constitute large markets and are therefore better served by non-profit organizations.