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April 2024 Written by 
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O-Kidia

Using tech for therapeutic orientation

O-Kidia, winner of the 11th wave of I-Nov awards, has created a transdiagnostic approach to neurodevelopmental disorders, bringing innovations out of the labs to make them more widely available.

by Eve Chatelet
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O-Kidia, winner of the 11th wave of I-Nov awards, has created a transdiagnostic approach to neurodevelopmental disorders, bringing innovations out of the labs to make them more widely available. 

She trained in neuroscience and did research in the US and Japan before coming back to France. Her specialty is cerebral development in children and adolescents, particularly the risk factors that lead to ADHD, ‘dys-orders’ like dyslexia and dysphasia, and autism spectrum disorders. “Outside France, researchers have to look for their own funding even if they are attached to a university,” says Marseille-born Vanessa Douet Vannucci. “Competing like that is formative. Twenty years ago, when I finished my thesis, there was no dialogue in France between the research world and industry. All that has changed. There are now many initiatives supporting start-ups and helping people market their research results.” Having learnt how to ‘sell’ her research when working abroad, Dr Vanucci started a company in Nice in 2022, while continuing as associate researcher at the University of Nice-Côte d’Azur.

 

Assessing disorders from a network of symptoms

Bringing neurobiology, medical imagery, genetics and psychometrics together, Dr Vanucci aims to bring research into direct touch with the public. “It’s an uphill battle in the educational and medical systems to get diagnosis and treatment for a neurodevelopmental disorder,” she says. It takes from one to three years to get a full diagnosis. It can be done much faster with a hybrid approach that uses AI to model networks of data.” O-Kidia is working with research centres to develop two solutions: “Children often display more than one disorder, such as ADHD together with dyslexia or Autism spectrum. One can more easily prioritise therapeutic actions if one takes a comprehensive approach to the child, using questionnaires processed by AI. That’s the aim of our Spectrum platform, which we want to roll out on a large scale. The other product we’re developing is based on biomarkers that could replace most or all of the questionnaires in the long run. We have created games to play on a tablet; while the child plays, biometrics is used to observe their eye movements, how they make marks and what emotions they express. The system has been patented. Once it has been clinically validated it could be used in the waiting room before a consultation, to facilitate diagnosis.” Tech in the service of mental health!

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Read 298 times Last modified on 04.2024

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