A quantum leap in brain therapy in the BsMt consortium
The Israeli consortium BSMT (Brain Stimulation and Monitoring Toolbox), funded over the course of the past five years by the Innovation Authority with a NIS 67 million grant, was established in order to develop technological and scientific infrastructure combined with neurological stimulation and monitoring to enable personalized and improved treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. The infrastructure is designed to serve as the basis for a new generation of products that could elevate consortium member companies – InSightec, ElMindA, Alpha Omega, and Bransway – to the global forefront in the field. The involvement of clinical research groups from universities and hospitals in the consortium has allowed member companies to conduct groundbreaking clinical trials in the consortium period with human subjects.
The consortium has had several groundbreaking achievements, some of which have led to technological maturity and clinical execution. HaGuide, for example, software developed in the consortium by Alpha Omega and researchers from the Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical Center, is used in DBS procedures (Deep Brain Stimulation) performed on patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease or other disorders. The software enables the automatic analysis of raw material recorded from the brain, and is used for the automatic and precise navigation of an electrode implanted into a particular nucleus in the brain that controls mobility. The system has been tested on over one hundred Parkinson’s patients undergoing DBS procedures. Due to its promising results, it was granted regulatory approval by the FDA and the CE.
Another technological and commercial achievement, the product of close collaboration between several consortium members, is a digital platform, for functional brain imaging for psychiatric patients. The product is based on BNA technology (Brain Network Analytics) by ElMindA, which utilizes big data and machine learning tools for the analysis of brain signals. The unprecedented technology provides access to ‘brain software’ on the composition, the connectivity, and the synchronization of functional brain networks. A new lab was established at the Mental Health Center in Be’er Ya’akov-Ness Ziona on the basis of this platform, offering cognitive testing of psychiatric patients. These tests provide a groundbreaking integration of digital medicine in processes for diagnosing and treating psychiatric patients – a quantum leap in the quality of psychiatric medicine in Israel. The integration of the platform in therapy is slated to advance personalized medicine and to offer support for doctors’ treatment modalities.