When I was 10-years-old, I noticed something disturbing about my neighbor:
He wasn’t old, but his hands trembled terribly, and he walked with small, stiff steps.
“Why does Mr. Ward walk like that?” I remember asking my mother.
She explained that he was sick, but that it wasn’t contagious like a cold.
Years later, as an adult, I realized that Mr. Ward had suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the nervous system, and as you might know, it afflicts millions of people.
Although there’s no cure for it, medication can help ease the symptoms.
Historically, however, prescribing the right drug dose for the right patient at the right time has been difficult.
And getting the equation wrong can lead to more suffering, and more side effects.
But a new medical technology company may have created a simple, powerful solution…
And their solution offers hope not just for Parkinson’s patients –
But for people suffering from movement disorders like Restless Legs Syndrome, Huntington’s disease, and Wilson’s disease, as well as from neurological conditions like Alzheimers.
Traditionally, a patient with Parkinson’s has his health assessed by an in-person visit with a doctor.
He describes how he’s feeling, and how he’s felt over the past few weeks.
Unfortunately, this strategy tends to be ineffective:
First of all, it can be hard for a patient to remember and describe his various symptoms over time.
And secondly, the doctor doesn’t know if the patient is accurately reporting his symptoms. In fact, he doesn’t even know if the patient is taking his medication.
Because of these limitations, clinicians have had no objective way to measure their patients’ symptoms – and no way to accurately prescribe the proper treatment.
These limitations lead to an unfortunate situation:
Patients continue to suffer unnecessarily – not just from the tremors, muscle pain, and involuntary movements, but from sleep disorders and depression.
All because of an inability to accurately assess the patient’s condition.
To solve this problem, a medical technology start-up called Global Kinetics Corporation (GKS) is taking a novel approach.
Founded by neurologists from the highly regarded Florey Institute of Neuroscience in Australia, GKS is commercializing a product that was initially developed at Florey.
The product is called the Personal KinetiGraph™ (PKG™).
The PKG is a wrist-worn device that looks like a watch.
The patient wears it for six to ten days, and every two minutes, it automatically collects data on the patient’s symptoms.
It reminds patients when they should take their medicine, and provides the doctor with a digital time-stamp of when their meds were actually taken.
Once the data is collected and processed by the PKG, it’s compiled into a detailed report and sent to the patient’s doctor.
Since this report is objective, the doctor can use its results to make modifications to the patient’s treatment – for example, changing the amount, type, or timing of their medication, or recommending a more aggressive type of therapy.
In other words, the PKG report enables doctors to prescribe treatment plans that improve overall patient wellbeing, and minimize adverse side effects.
The results thus far have been remarkable:
In one clinical test, patients using the PKG had an 80% reduction in their Parkinson’s symptoms, with clinically insignificant increases in side effects.
Three Reasons We Like GKS
There are plenty of reasons to be intrigued about GKS as a company…
But since GKS is raising money on equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd.com, we thought we’d focus on why we like it as a potential investment:
1. It plays into a major new trend in biotech: the pairing of medical devices with software and “big data.”
From an investment perspective, it’s notable that start-ups in this sector are getting acquired. For example: in Q2 2014, Medtronic paid $150 million to purchase Corventis, a “wearable” tech company; also in Q2, St. Jude Medical paid $450 million to buy CardioMEMS, a heart failure monitor that transmits data remotely.
2. Traction: GKS has already received regulatory approval in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific; it’s already received several patent grants; and it’s already doing about $1.5 million in annual sales.
3. Big Market: The addressable market for Parkinson’s alone is $1.5 billion. And the opportunity for GKS to expand into other disorders makes its potential market even bigger.
If you’re interested to explore this further, click here to read more about it >>
Keep in mind that investing in early-stage companies is risky -- so if you do decide to invest, make sure it’s as part of a diversified portfolio.
Please note: Crowdability has no financial relationship with GKS or OurCrowd. We’re an independent provider of education, information and research on start-ups and alternative investments.