Digital autism detection tool EarliTec Dx announced a $19.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Bernie Marcus with participation from Georgia Research Alliance (GRA).
WHAT IT DOES
The Atlanta-based startup uses digital biomarkers to help diagnose development disorders. Specifically, it developed a tool that uses Dynamic Quantification of Social-Visual Engagement (DQSVE), which quantifies eye-movement and looking behavior, to help diagnose autism.
Children watch a video, and the tool is able to access “individual focal points at a rate of 120 times per second.” According to the company, looking behavior can help detect neurodevelopmental disability.
Researchers from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory School of Medicine and Yale University worked to develop the product, which has been used in multiple clinical trials.
The technology is not currently for sale in the U.S. and doesn’t have clearance from the FDA.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The new infusion of cash is expected to help the company with its 510(k) submission to the FDA. It is also intended to fuel the commercialization and expansion efforts of its AI-based platform.
“EarliTec’s ability to measure clinically relevant responses to unscripted social situations is revolutionizing our understanding of the way in which young children with autism learn about their social world,” said Tom Ressemann, CEO of EarliTec. “With this insight, we can help parents, providers and caregivers access earlier diagnosis at a time when effective intervention dramatically improves lifetime outcomes.”
THE LARGER TREND
Autism is a common condition in the United States. In fact, one in 44 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder, according to the CDC.
Several digital health companies are focused on creating tools to meet the needs of this community. In June, Cognoa landed an FDA De Novo for its autism spectrum disorder software diagnostic aid Canvas Dx.
Springtide, multimodal clinic for children with developmental delays, announced an $18.1 million equity round. Additionally, Mightier, a company that developed a biofeedback video game platform to help children regulate their emotions, launched in 2020.