January 16, 2020
TitletownTech today announced it has invested in Oculogica, an innovative digital health company, by leading an $8 million round of funding that recently closed. Oculogica has established the new standard of care for concussion diagnosis through the development of the EyeBOX, the first FDA-approved neuro-diagnostic device that uses proprietary and innovative technology to track eye movement to determine if a person has a concussion.
“This investment acknowledges our leadership position as the first and only objective aid in diagnosis of concussion with FDA authorization,” said Rosina Samadani, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Oculogica Inc.
“This round of funding will allow us to build on our FDA authorization and reimbursement (i.e., CPT) code publication by the American Medical Association as we work toward establishing an objective diagnostic for concussion as the new standard. We’re incredibly excited about this partnership.”
Founded in 2013 by Dr. Uzma Samadani, M.D., Ph.D., a neurosurgeon and research scientist, Oculogica in 2019 began working with TitletownTech, a venture capital fund and innovation center formed out of the partnership between the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft, to further develop its device and technology. TitletownTech and Oculogica’s collaboration builds on the Samadani sisters’ deep ties to Wisconsin, having grown up in Beaver Dam, Wis., as Packers fans.
“Oculogica has developed ground-breaking technology that will change how doctors, hospitals, parents and athletes diagnose and manage head injuries,” said Jill Enos, Managing Director of TitletownTech. “TitletownTech is excited to help enable Oculogica to bring this technology to the larger market.”
In its concussion diagnosis evaluation, the EyeBOX’s technology requires no baseline testing and uses a non-invasive procedure that lasts less than four minutes and can be administered within minutes of an injury, with immediate results. Oculogica has received a CPT code for reimbursement in record time – less than a year after getting FDA authorization.
“Oculogica is exactly the type of dynamic, leading-edge company we envisioned being part of TitletownTech,” said Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy. “The Packers are proud to help create a support network in Green Bay that is attracting high-growth, scalable ventures to our region that are developing transformative solutions to industry challenges. We’re excited to see Oculogica’s innovation benefit not only the sports community, but health care overall.”
This round of funding will support further commercial distribution of the EyeBOX at Level I, II and III trauma centers nationwide, including additional units in use with the U.S. Department of Defense. The funding also will expand reimbursement coverage for the product’s new CPT code, specific to its EyeBOX technology. A CPT (Current Procedural Terminology ) code is a medical code set maintained by the American Medical Association that describes medical, surgical, and diagnostic services, which is used by the medical community (physicians, health systems, accreditation organizations, insurance companies, etc.) to communicate uniform information about medical services and procedures for administrative, financial, and analytical purposes.
The EyeBOX’s additional commercial use also will bolster ongoing research and development for future product generations and indications, with data from additional concussion diagnoses enhancing EyeBOX diagnostic algorithms.
Oculogica’s technology is for all concussions, not just sports-related ones. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 18% of concussions are sports-related. The CDC estimates there are more than 2.5 million emergency room visits in the United States each year as a result of head injuries, with further studies suggesting the actual number of concussions occurring annually in the U.S. could potentially be as high as 10 million. Traumatic brain injury (TBI), resulting from such incidents as automobile accidents, falls, sports-related injuries, and assaults, is the leading cause of disability and the No. 1 cause of death for young adults. At least 75% of brain injuries in the U.S. are considered mild TBI2, representing an economic burden of at least $16.7 billion annually in direct and indirect costs on the healthcare system.
Oculogica’s efficient and reliable concussion diagnosis will exponentially help treatment and the recovery process.
Oculogica Inc. is an eye tracking-based, neuro-diagnostic company founded by Dr. Uzma Samadani, a neurosurgeon at Centracare and the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, and Associate Professor of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Minnesota School of Engineering. The company has developed the EyeBOX, the first baseline-free, aid in diagnosis of concussion to help physicians objectively evaluate patients with suspected concussions. EyeBOX is a 4-minute test appropriate for ages 5 to 67. To learn more about the company and the EyeBOX, visit www.oculogica.com.
Formed out of a partnership between the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft, TitletownTech builds, enables and invests in early-stage and existing businesses. The organization identifies solutions, develops startups, and funds entrepreneurs across five key verticals: sports, media and entertainment; digital health; agriculture, water & environment; advanced manufacturing; and supply chain technology. Through a three-part structure, TitletownTech enables innovation, exploration, and disruption to address industry challenges. The Innovation Lab identifies and explores digital, transformative solutions. The Venture Studio develops creative market solutions with new and existing startups. The Venture Fund invests in high-growth scalable ventures that leverage the region’s strengths. www.titletowntech.com.